National Immunisation Register (NIR) – English version

National Immunisation Register (NIR) – English version

HE Code: 
Pamphlet DLE
Publication date: 
1 April 2008
Revision date: 
1 June 2011
Order free copies:
Information in English for parents and caregivers covering frequently asked questions about the National Immunisation Register (NIR) – the computerised record of immunisations against infectious diseases.

Immunisation is one of the free Well Child Tamariki Ora Programme services aimed at improving and protecting your child’s health.

Immunisation can protect your child from serious diseases. The vaccines, which are given by an injection, stimulate the body to make antibodies which will protect your child. Your child will need all the doses of vaccine on the National Immunisation Schedule to be fully protected against all these diseases.

What is the National Immunisation Register? (NIR)

The National Immunisation Register (NIR) is a computerised information system that holds the immunisation details of your child.

The NIR will help you and your health care provider, such as your family doctor, to keep a record of your child’s immunisations.

How will the NIR help my child?

Your family doctor or practice nurse will use the NIR to check which immunisations your child has been given. This will help to make sure that your child receives all the appropriate immunisations at the recommended ages (see the National Immunisation Schedule).

Children may visit many different health care providers for their health care. The NIR will make sure that information about your child’s immunisations is available even if they receive health services in another part of the country (if you shift to another area, or to another doctor).

The NIR will also prompt reminder notices to your doctor’s practice when your child’s immunisations are overdue.

How will the NIR help all children?

The NIR will provide health authorities with accurate data on the proportion of children that are immunised (immunisation coverage). This will help to target resources where they are most needed.

The NIR will also help to assess the risk of epidemics. An epidemic occurs when a disease is widespread in the community. The NIR will also measure the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

What information will be held on the NIR?

After the birth of your child, information will be sent from your maternity hospital or lead maternity carer (midwife or doctor) to register your child on the NIR. This information will be updated by your healthcare provider when your child has their immunisations.

This will make sure that an accurate and up to date immunisation record of your child is available at all times. The following details about your child will be recorded:

  • your child’s name, address, date of birth, gender, ethnicity and unique health number (National Health Index or NHI)
  • your child’s nominated healthcare provider (family doctor, midwife and Well Child Tamariki Ora provider)
  • immunisations your child has received
  • parent/guardian contact details.

The NIR will also be able to record if a parent chooses not to immunise their child for a particular vaccine, or if there are medical reasons not to do so.

If your child receives immunisations at birth for hepatitis B or tuberculosis, these will be recorded on the NIR.

The NIR does not record historical data – only newborn babies, who are beginning their immunisations are enrolled on the NIR.

Older children’s immunisation information is not recorded on the NIR unless they received the MeNZB™ vaccine at the same time or have received the HPV vaccine and agreed to have the immunisation information will be recorded on the NIR.

The National Immunisation Schedule

Age Diseases covered and Vaccines
6 weeks Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio/ Hepatitis B/Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (INFANRIX® -hexa)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
3 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio/ Hepatitis B/Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (INFANRIX® -hexa)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
5 months Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio/ Hepatitis B/Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (INFANRIX® -hexa)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
15 months Haemophilus influenzae type b
1 injection (Act-HIB)
1 injection (M-M-R® ll)
1 injection (SYNFLORIX®)
4 years Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping cough/Polio
1 injection (INFANRIX™-IPV)
1 injection (M-M-R® ll)
11 years Tetanus/Diphtheria/Whooping cough
1 injection (BOOSTRIX™)
12 years
girls only
Human papillomavirus
3 doses given over 6 months (GARDASIL®)

Immunisations which may be given at birth:

  • babies of mothers who are hepatitis B carriers will be offered hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG (hepatitis B immunoglobulin) antibodies
  • babies who are at risk of tuberculosis (TB) will be offered BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccination.

How is information on the NIR accessed?

Only authorised healthcare providers can see, add or change the information held on the NIR. These may include your family doctor, nurse, midwife, Plunket nurse, medical specialist, Well Child provider, Outreach Services and Māori and Pacific health organisations.

As a parent/guardian you may request at any time a copy of your child’s immunisation details, or request that information be corrected, through your healthcare provider.

Can I opt off the NIR?

During pregnancy and after your child is born, you will be informed about the use and purpose of the NIR by your lead maternity carer (midwife or doctor).

You may decide that you do not want to have your child’s immunisation details recorded on the NIR. You can choose to opt off the NIR but you’ll need to complete and sign an opt off form. Your child’s unique health number, date of birth, District Health Board, and any immunisations given before you decide to opt off, will remain on the NIR. This information will be retained so that immunisation coverage can be assessed.

Your child will still be entitled to free vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule up to the age of 16 years whether or not you opt off the NIR.

How long will information be kept on the NIR?

Information will be kept on the NIR for an individual’s life-time, plus a period of 10 years.

The National Immunisation Register – key information for parents:

  • The NIR is an information system that will hold immunisation details on your child
  • Your doctor or practice nurse will record and update your child’s immunisations on the NIR
  • The NIR will help follow-up and ensure that your child’s immunisations are completed
  • The NIR will be able to provide immunisation coverage to guide immunisation programmes
  • If you decide you don’t want your child’s immunisation information collected on the NIR, you can choose to opt off.

For more information about the NIR

  • Talk to your lead maternity carer
  • Talk to your family doctor, nurse or Well Child provider
  • Call your local public health service or Medical Officer of Health
  • Contact your NIR Administrator at your local District Health Board
  • Check out the Ministry of Health website.

National Immunisation Register – Improving Child Health

The National Health Index is a number allocated to an individual at birth and has been part of the New Zealand health system for many years. The number enables an individual to be uniquely identified for the purposes of healthcare services and records.


Resource rating

12345 Rating 0/5 (0 votes cast)
Add your rating by selecting the stars
For registered users only -- login now to rate this article

Share this page

Keep up to date

Newsletter sign up

Please enter your email address below to receive the newsletter

Subscribe to HealthEd newsletter feed