Bridging NIPVIP knowledge gaps

For those who were unable to make it to the PSA’s recent jam-packed National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) Program webinar, here’s a roundup of the most sought-after information from the expert hosts.

How long after I’ve administered a NIP vaccine can I claim, and receive a NIPVIP payment?

You can process a claim as soon as a NIP vaccine has been administered. This can be done either directly through the PPA portal, or via professional services software integrated with the portal. Some software vendors – such as MedAdvisor, Flugr and Vaxapp – were integrated with the PPA portal when the project commenced.

Claims must be submitted by the end of the calendar month following the administration (ie. if administered in June 2024, the service must be claimed by 31 July 2024).

Funds should be received within 2–3 business days after a claim has been made. If payment is not received, the bank account details on the system might be incorrect or need to be updated. In this event, the pharmacy’s authorised representative will be contacted by PPA.

Are patients without a Medicare card still eligible for NIPVIP vaccines?

No. NIP vaccines are only funded for Medicare or Department of Veteran Affairs card holders or those who are eligible.

Should a patient otherwise be eligible for a Medicare card, a special Medicare number can be used for NIPVIP claiming – similar to the process for the COVID-19 vaccination in community pharmacy program.

Importantly, this number must be used in the PPA system only, and should not be entered into the Australian Immunisation Register.

Do I need any additional training to administer an expanded range of vaccines?

Pharmacists must ensure they are competent to select, prepare, and administer vaccines that are appropriate for an individual patient by undertaking accredited training to become a vaccinator who can administer any vaccine.

In some jurisdictions, completion of accredited training for all individual vaccines is a mandatory condition of vaccination authority. Pharmacists should check with their state or territory health department if unsure of these requirements.

Furthermore, some jurisdictions mandate specific training for administration of certain vaccines, including:

  • South Australia: all new immunisers who didn’t complete the Commonwealth COVID-19 vaccine training program must complete the South Australian COVID-19 Immunisation Education Program to administer COVID-19 vaccines in the state.
  • New South Wales and Victoria: to administer the Japanese encephalitis vaccine, pharmacists in these states are required to complete additional training, available through PSA’s education catalogue.

Intern pharmacists who have completed the required immunisation training for their state or territory can administer vaccines under supervision in all jurisdictions except Victoria.

Helpful education resources include:

Why can’t I register for NIPVIP?

Have you logged into the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) portal but can’t figure out how to register for NIPVIP? That’s likely because you’re not the pharmacy’s authorised representative. 

Once your pharmacy’s authorised representative, or owner, has registered for NIPVIP – all staff pharmacists will be able to login and submit NIPVIP claims.

For further guidance, access the PPA portal user guide for NIPVIP.

When will Shingrix be back in stock?

When Shingrix replaced Zostavax on the NIP on 1 November 2023, GSK provided 500,000 doses to the government. Uptake has been significantly strong, with 487,000 Shingrix doses already administered in the first 3 months of the program.

It’s anticipated another 1.1 million doses will be delivered to the government in the first half of 2024. However, private stock is available through wholesalers.

For more information, refer to the Department of Health’s statement on Supplies of the Shingrix vaccine.

If a patient comes in for a second influenza vaccine during the year, can pharmacists administer another NIP influenza vaccine?

No. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) doesn’t currently recommend that two influenza vaccines be administered per year, so private vaccination is also excluded in most circumstances. 

However, there are some exceptions:

  1. Children aged 6 months to under 9 years of age receiving a primary course of the influenza vaccine should receive two doses, 4 weeks apart.
  2. Pregnant women are recommended to have an influenza vaccine during their pregnancy. Depending on the timing of their pregnancy, this may mean a second influenza vaccination in a year with an influenza vaccine.
  3. Patients who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time after transplant are recommended to receive two doses at least 4 weeks apart and one dose each subsequent year. For information on specified medical risk conditions refer to the Immunisation Handbook or the annual ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines.
  4. Australians who have received an influenza vaccine and are travelling later in the year to the Northern Hemisphere during influenza season (usually October–May) may receive a second dose of influenza vaccine before departure, depending on individual circumstances. However, a second vaccination would not be covered under the NIP. It would also be unavailable to patients in community pharmacies in South Australia and Victoria, which restrict vaccine administration for the purpose of travel (with an exception being under Victoria’s travel heath pilot).

With the reemergence of Mpox, could the vaccine be a candidate for NIPVIP?

There was a prolonged period when there were no new mpox notifications in Australia. However, a recent mpox case cropped up in Victoria – developed from an unknown source, not linked to international travel, and therefore believed to be locally acquired.

At this stage, mpox vaccination programs are not on the NIP, but are run as state, or territory, based programs

For example, the mpox vaccine is available to patients who meet the eligibility criteria in Victoria free of charge through Local Public Health Unit (LPHU) programs.

The Victorian government is now encouraging all community pharmacies to administer mpox vaccines, which can be ordered via onelink. Completion of the Monkeypox vaccination eLearning module is a mandatory requirement. More information is available via

Mpox vaccination programs target a limited population group. However if the vaccine was added to the NIP in the future, NIPVIP funding to administer the vaccine would apply.

Refresh your NIPVIP knowledge and accrue CPD credits by watching the recorded webinar.

Still confused? Or need more detail? PSA is running member-only briefings for each state and territory. Keep an eye on your emails in coming days for dates and information on how to register.