26 November 2021

The weekly newsletter of Auckland PHO provides details of events, meetings, clinical information and PHO Programmes to our Practices
Auckland PHO News
Resuscitation Sessions for 2022
We have started planning for next year’s resuscitation sessions for all practice staff under COVID-19 conditions, and will circulate an expression of interest in the new year.

Infection Protection and Control
Auckland PHO developed a Pandemic Checklist in 2020 to enable practice staff to check on their processes and procedures regularly. An updated version, reflecting Delta in 2021, is currently being endorsed by NRHCC Public Health representatives (in order for the document to be circulated widely) and we hope to make available soon.

LARC Survey
We have recently been asked to survey our network with regards to information around LARC insertion and removal, as planning is underway to ensure GPs and NPs are adequately compensated for this work.  The Survey is by way of a Survey Monkey – if it comes your way, please complete.  Thanks!
End of Life Choice Act – Practice Policy
The End of Life Choice Act 2019 gives people who experience unbearable suffering from a terminal illness the option of legally asking for medical assistance to end their lives.  The Act outlines the legal framework for assisted dying, eligibility criteria and safeguards.
Anyone working in a general practice that encounters a patient who asks for information about assisted dying can refer to the policy that takes staff through their responsibilities, provides relevant information links and associated procedures.

We have a generic practice policy document available for our network.  You can access the document in the Auckland PHO Library  or on request to
Notice of Auckland PHO Annual General Meeting
Shareholders are invited to join Directors at the 2021 Annual General Meeting.
Date:   Thursday, 9 December 2021
Time:   6.30pm
Via Zoom

Following the AGM, there will be a presentation on The Health Reforms and General Practice by Helen Parker, Pinnacle Health Network CEO, who has been seconded to the Transition Unit, Dept of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
COVID Vaccination Update
Pregnancy factsheet
Please see below COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy factsheet

This information sheet is intended for health professional use. A consumer version will be available from the IMAC COVID-19 Education website soon.
AstraZeneca vaccine
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 26/11/2021 1:20:04 PM.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is available from today at a limited number of vaccination centres. These vaccination centres will offer AstraZeneca on different set days and times only.

Who can get the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Anyone aged 18 years and older who wants a different option or cannot have the Pfizer vaccine for medical reasons, can have the AstraZeneca vaccine. Pfizer continues to be the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for use in New Zealand.

How can people get the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Vaccinating sites that are offering the AstraZeneca vaccine are listed on More sites will be added as they come on board over the next week. People can book a vaccination appointment by using or calling 0800 28 29 26.

Who should not get the AstraZeneca vaccine?

People should not get the AstraZeneca vaccine if:

  • They have had a severe allergic reaction to this vaccine or its ingredients.
  • They have had a major blood clot at the same time as having low levels of platelets (thrombocytopenia) after receiving any COVID-19 vaccine.
  • They have Capillary Leak Syndrome (CLS – a condition causing fluid leakage from small blood vessels).
  • They are pregnant – there is insufficient data on the use of AstrZeneca in pregnancy people so Pfizer remains the preferred choice for this group.

Time between doses

The AstraZeneca vaccine is a two dose course, with the second dose at least 4 weeks after the first dose. If people get the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose then they should get this for their second dose (and not the Pfizer vaccine).

Consultation and prescription requirement

A consultation and prescription for the AstraZeneca vaccine is only required if there is any mixing of vaccines (i.e. non-AstraZeneca vaccine dose 1 and AstraZeneca as dose 2) or if AstraZeneca is being given as a third primary or a booster dose after the previous administration of the Pfizer vaccine. In these instances, a consenting conversation, consent form signed by both the patient and medical practitioner, and a prescription is required, as these situations are off-label use. Written consent is required for all patients receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This can be completed at a vaccination site if no prescription is required. Please see the update consent form attached.

Prior to having an “consenting” conversations for Astra Zeneca please ensure you have reviewed relevant resources  via the following link:


Funding for the consultation and prescription is yet to be confirmed by the Ministry of Health but we’ll let you know via Medinz once this information becomes available.

Further information

For more information on the Astra Zeneca vaccine, please see the Ministry of Health’s policy statement: Ministry of Health's policy statement - AstraZeneca.

Booster doses

Booster doses can now be administered from today, and the CIR is enabled to record these.

Who is eligible?

Anyone aged 18 and over who has had their second dose at least 6 months ago is eligible. Healthcare and border workers are a priority for boosters as many had their primary doses at least 6 months ago.

How do people get a booster dose?

Eligible people can book their booster doses from today by using or calling 0800 28 29 26. We are encouraging people to book their booster doses in order to manage demand and continue to prioritise first and second doses.


Funding is yet to be confirmed by the Ministry of Health but we’ll let you know via Medinz once this information becomes available.


HP7565 Covid-19 Vaccine consent form general V27.pdf 217.4 KB

Temporary medical exemptions from mandatory vaccination
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 25/11/2021 11:22:58 AM.

If a person is required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and they think they might be eligible for a temporary medical exemption, their usual general practitioner or nurse practitioner can apply on their behalf. People cannot apply for an exemption for themselves.

The application may only be on the grounds that the person meets the specified exemption criteria. See here for the criteria: Vaccine Temporary Medical Exemption Clinical Criteria, Clinical Guidance and Resources: 19 November 2021. This can be found on HealthPathways: COVID-19 Vaccination Resources under Local guidance > Health professionals resources > Ministry of Health. The application form is attached.

Ministry of Health Application Form.pdf [495.4 KB]

Please send feedback to

COVID-19 Update: Extended Turnaround Time for COVID-19 Tests
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 24/11/2021 11:26:04 AM.

Turnaround time for COVID-19 tests is currently longer than normal due to sustained elevated demand. Please advise patients it can take up to 5 days to receive a result. This will reduce the volume of enquiries to labs, Healthline, Community Testing Centres and primary care from people following up their results.

Work is underway to reduce turnaround times with revised testing guidance from the Ministry of Health and by increasing laboratory capacity. Revised testing guidance will be communicated once available.

Please send feedback to

COVID-19 vaccination - updates
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 21/11/2021 3:17:04 PM.

Booster dose update

From today Friday 26 November, booster doses are available for eligible people – those who had their second dose more than 6 months ago. Eligible people will also be able to get their booster by walking into any Vaccination Centre, or from any GP or pharmacy offering a walk-in vaccination service.

Eligible people can pre-book their booster dose online using the Book My Vaccine website or by calling 0800 28 29 26 from 26 November onwards. GP clinics using their own booking systems are welcome to start pre-booking eligible patients from now onwards.

Funding for the booster dose is still to be confirmed. We will publish this on Medinz once available

Encouraging second doses after 3 weeks

Please encourage patients to get fully vaccinated by getting their second doses and to consider getting these as soon as possible after the minimum gap of 21 days. This will mean more people are fully vaccinated sooner, increasing our community immunity.

Adding overseas records to CIR 

If any patients have had overseas vaccinations, please direct them to the Ministry of Health website to add their record of their vaccination to the COVID Immunisation Record (CIR). Please note, it is not the responsibility of GP practices or community pharmacies to do this. 

Please send feedback to

COVID-19 vaccination programme - updates
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 23/11/2021 9:06:02 AM.

Booster doses – bookings required for vaccination centres

Further to yesterday’s Medinz message, please let eligible patients know they will need to book a booster dose provided at a Vaccination Centre, rather than just turning up. This will help us manage the demand at our Vaccination Centres and prioritise first and second doses. 

To remind you, booster doses are available from today Friday 26 November for those that had their second dose more than 6 months ago. Advance bookings can be made using the Book My Vaccine website or by calling 0800 28 29 26 from 26 November onwards.

GP clinics or pharmacies with their own booking system are welcome to pre-book eligible patients from now onwards.

If you are a vaccinating GP clinic or pharmacy offering a walk-in service, this can be extended to include boosters for eligible people from today Friday 26 November.

Please ensure that your practice Healthpoint site is updated if the hours/days you are vaccinating are changing.

COVID-19 vaccination webinar for primary care - recording and FAQs

The recording of the NRHCC COVID-19 vaccination programme webinar on 16 November is now available on HealthPathways: see COVID-19 Vaccination Resources under Local guidance > Health professionals resources > Vaccination Rollout Webinars. 

The webinar included:

  • The final push to reach the 90% fully vaccinated target and the next steps.
  • Dr Matire Harwood from Papakura Marae Health Clinic talking about those who are vaccine hesitant in their community and sharing her insights about how to encourage vaccination.
  • Tevita Funaki, CEO at The Fono, talking about their vaccination approach with their Pacific community and practical tips and insights.
  • A clinical update from Dr Nikki Turner, Medical Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC).
  • A questions and answers session.

There were some great questions asked at the webinar. These questions have been collated and we’ve provided written answers. You’ll find these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on HealthPathways: COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout: Primary Care Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) November 2021. The FAQs are found under: COVID-19 Vaccination Resources.

Please send feedback to

Important Information for Practices
FREE LARC Contraception & Cervical Screening during COVID Restrictions

Well Women and Family continue to offer Cervical Screening and full Contraception services (includes LARC insertion/removal) STI Testing and treatment during Alert Level 3.2 as these are all essential services.
They currently have no waiting times for LARC and most women will be eligible for free or very low cost services. Well Women and Family are LARC providers for all three Auckland DHB’s.
Being a WELL WOMENS service, woman should feel less concerned to attend as they are not providing services for people who are unwell (they do covid screening prior to appointment)
If you would like to refer your women to the service you can do this
EDI: wonsurs
Or simply ask them to book online
Or call 09 846 7886
Or alternatively provide them with one of well women and family cards (they are happy to courier these to your practice)
A copy of all consultation notes and results will electronically sent to their GP.
Please feel free to contact Jane Piper for further information.
Registered Nurse prescribing in Community Health in 2022
Registered  primary health nurses can complete a work-based education programme and then apply to the Nursing Council for prescribing authority for a limited number of medicines for minor ailments and illnesses in normally healthy people without significant health problems,

This is a six month blended learning programme, commencing with two face to face study days.

Registered Nurses must be qualified for 3 years and have been in their present place of employment for minimum 1 year
For more information and dates for the  2 courses in 2022 please see the attached flyer.
Looking for a GP or nurse to lead a rheumatic fever education campaign for their primary care colleagues 
Waitemata and Auckland DHB are planning a campaign on the diagnosis and management of rheumatic fever, which focuses on primary care health professionals, the frontline rheumatic fever prevention workforce. The campaign would begin in early 2022 and go for around 6 months.
The key areas of focus would be
- Refreshing doctors and nurses on the Heart Foundation Rheumatic Fever Guidelines
- Cultural safety, and understanding the impacts of systemic racism which lead to rheumatic fever inequities.
- Consumer experiences and expectations in relation to sore throat swabbing and rheumatic fever diagnosis.

We are looking for a GP and or nurse to lead this campaign in a paid role, someone who has worked with the communities most affected by rheumatic fever, engages with families in a way that is respectful of cultural dynamics, and is confident at running teaching sessions. Administrative support will be provided throughout.
If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Kim MacRae, Rheumatic Fever Project Manager, WDHB & ADHB, ph 021 843 650, or email
Zooms, Webinars and Education
Immunisation Updates for Community Providers December 2021
A joint DHB / PHO Immunisation Webinar

Date: Wednesday, 1 December 2021
Time: 6pm
Via Zoom
Please register via Zoom link in advance for this meeting:

For further information please see attached flyer below:
Immunisation_Update 1_Dec_21_Zoom.pdf

Health System Reforms - Information Session Friday, 26 November
Published by Counties Manukau Health on 22/11/2021 4:25:47 PM.

The structure of our health and disability system is changing. 

To get a better understanding of these changes, this Friday you are invited to join representatives from the Transition Unit to gain an overview of the key components of this  work programme and ask any questions.

This online session is designed for those who haven't yet had a chance to catch up on the Health Reforms or the detail of the related reform work programme.

When: Friday, 26 November 11:00am – 12:30pm.

Where: The event is online – please register in advance here.

Please note: When you register, an auto-generated calendar invite with a link to the session will be sent to your inbox.

You can also find the latest information about the Health Reforms on the Future of Health website.

View this message on Medinz.

Please send feedback to

        Check out this 2-day comprehensive update
The Goodfellow Symposium, packed with 'Skills for Next Monday' is ready for you. 
  • Do you know how to best manage those arthritic knees?
  • Do you know when to refer patients with back pain to a specialist?
  • How confident are you identifying lesions for biopsy, the type of biopsy, and who should do it?
The Goodfellow Symposium is pleased to have MercyAscot’s Mark Clatworthy, John Ferguson and Rajan Patel as part of our line-up. They will be ready and waiting to offer in-depth insights, solutions and the latest best practice information to support your practice

Check out their sessions as well as the full programme, and secure your special registration rate.

Earlybird registration rates until January
Zoom Huddle
Auckland PHO would like to invite Nurse Practitioners/Practice Nurses/HCAs and Practice Managers to join our “Zoom Huddle” The Zoom Huddle sessions will provide everyone with an opportunity to raise any clinical issues/questions or concerns and collaboratively share information and experiences from which we all can learn.
The Zoom Huddle session is scheduled for every Tuesdays. Next session is on
Date: Tuesday, 30 November
Time: 8.45am - 9am

Alison Brown - Clinical Advisor
Aaron Piano - Vaccinator and Cold Chain Assessor
Shanaz Khan - Child Health and Immunisation Services Advisor

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 404 026 6333 
Passcode: 210

We look forward to seeing you all at the Team Huddle. Please email if you would like to receive a calendar invitation.
Workshop for Patients
Living Well with Diabetes Free Workshop on Zoom
Day Course
Tuesdays 10-11am
30th November
7th December
Evening Course
Tuesdays 7-8pm
30th November 
7th December
Registration: please email and a zoom link will be sent to you
For more information please see attachment below or visit

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Auckland PHO · 210 Khyber Pass Road · Grafton · Auckland, Auckland 1023 · New Zealand