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Immunisation register for newborns starts today

17 October 2005

Immunisation register for newborns starts today

From today, all children born in the Capital & Coast District Health Board areas of Wellington, Porirua and Kapiti will automatically be added to the National Immunisation Register (NIR).

The NIR has been rolled out in stages around New Zealand starting in April in Auckland, with 17 October being the “go live” for Capital & Coast; Hutt Valley started one week before.

Details collected for the NIR include the child’s name, date of birth, gender, National Health Index number and ethnicity; parent/guardian details and contact information; nominated health professionals (such as their GP, Lead Maternity Carer and Well Child provider) and any immunisations given.

“This is great news for parents,” said Robyn Blue, Project Manager, National Immunisation Register, at Capital & Coast DHB. “Even for parents with only one child, it can be difficult to look back and know if the child had all the required immunisations, especially when they are all at different times. If families move, or have different doctors looking after their child the records can get lost. With the NIR, any doctor or nurse can look up the immunisation record in the doctor’s surgery and check if it is complete.”

Ms Blue said in the past, it has been difficult to get a good picture of immunisation coverage in New Zealand due to relying on incomplete information from practices around the country.
“Now we will be able to get accurate national records on immunisation coverage. Most importantly, this will help us to identify groups that are missing out or who have a lower level of coverage,” said Ms Blue.

The Register can also record if a parent chooses not to immunise their child for a particular vaccine, or if there are medical reasons not to do so. Parents and guardians may request their child’s immunisation information, or request that information be corrected, at any time, through their health professional. Parents or guardians can choose to “opt-off” and not have the immunisation records of their children on the NIR, in which case an opt-off form must be completed. If no form is completed, the immunisation details of each newborn will automatically be on the Register.

Babies born before today will continue to have their immunisation details recorded by their family doctor or nurse, and children and teenagers who took part in the Meningococcal B Vaccination Campaign have had their immunisation details recorded on the NIR.

ENDS

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