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'Go Live' of Immunisation Register complete

'Go Live' of Immunisation Register complete

New Zealand's National Immunisation Register (NIR) is now live across the country. Nelson Marlborough District Health Board went live with the newborn component of the interactive, computerised database yesterday. All immunisation records of newborn babies, captured by the register, will be available to health practitioners on line.

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New Zealand's National Immunisation Register (NIR) is now live across the country. Nelson Marlborough District Health Board went live with the newborn component of the interactive, computerised database yesterday. All immunisation records of newborn babies, captured by the register, will be available to health practitioners on line.

Health Minister Pete Hodgson says NIR will be a valuable tool in helping lower rates of vaccine preventable disease. The completion of the roll out will bring improved information on immunisation rates across New Zealand, allowing for better targeting of resources to areas of lower coverage.

"The register will give us an up to date snapshot of a child's immunisation status and help cut down on delays in delivering immunisations. NIR links children more closely to immunisation and primary health services.

"The conclusion of the roll out marks a major milestone in New Zealand's immunisation programme. Now NIR can assist health practitioners get reliable, up to date information on the immunisation status of babies. This will help GPs, WellChild providers and parents, who choose to immunise their children, ensure the right immunisations are provided at the right time."

So far, around 16,000 newborns have been put on the register. Of these, around 9,300 babies have their first six-week immunisations recorded on the NIR. That's just over 83 per cent of those due. Those figures are expected to grow as more New Zealand babies go on the register.

Mr Hodgson says the register has already proved its worth by supporting the implementation and efficiency of the nationwide Meningococcal B Immunisation Programme.

"It has provided excellent information on coverage and has helped DHBs target any gaps."

New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world to have a national immunisation register and it is believed, the first to have one that allows health professionals to directly access immunisation information in real time.

New Zealand babies are immunised against a range of vaccine preventable diseases and the Childhood Immunisation Schedule is changed around every two years. These changes are based on epidemiological and disease information.

The Ministry of Health has a target to have 90 to 95 per cent of children fully immunised by two years of age.


ENDS

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