COVID-19 vaccine boosters
Boosters provide an extra layer of protection to your previous vaccination and keep your immunity levels high. Booster doses use the Pfizer BA.4/5 bivalent vaccine.
Latest update — 1 May 2023
Additional booster doses
Regardless of how many boosters you have had, you can get an additional booster now if you are:
- aged 30 and over
- pregnant, and aged 16 or over
- aged 12 to 29 and at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Why you need a booster
Having COVID-19 does not provide the same level of immunity as getting vaccinated. We also know that your protection from the primary course (this is usually 2 doses) of the vaccine decreases over time.
To keep your immunity levels high, stay up to date with your vaccinations — including boosters. This will lower your chances of getting very sick from COVID-19 and ending up in hospital.
For boosters, we use the Pfizer BA.4/5 bivalent vaccine. This is an updated vaccine targeting Omicron. COVID-19 vaccines are free.
The bivalent vaccine produces an immune response against the original virus and Omicron variants. Specifically the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
Current evidence indicates the bivalent vaccine is more effective against Omicron subvariants than earlier vaccines.
If you do not want the bivalent vaccine, you can ask for the original Pfizer vaccine when you arrive for your vaccination.
If you are 30 years of age and over
If you are 30 years of age and over, you can have a booster regardless of the number of boosters you have already had.
You can have a booster if:
- you have had your first 2 COVID-19 vaccinations (your primary course)
- it is recommended you wait at least 6 months since you had COVID-19
- it is recommended you wait at least 6 months since you had any other COVID-19 vaccine.
Boosters are especially recommended for:
- all people over 65 years old
- Māori and Pacific people aged 50 and over
- pregnant people with health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- people with disability with significant or complex health needs
- people with serious mental health conditions
- young people aged 12 to 15 who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 — talk to your usual doctor, nurse or healthcare provider about whether this is recommended and how to get a prescription.
If you are 16 to 29 years of age
Healthy people aged 16 to 29 can have a 1 booster dose.
To get a booster:
- you must have had at least your first 2 COVID-19 vaccinations, and
- it is recommended you wait at least 6 months since your last COVID-19 vaccine or infection.
Additional booster doses for 16 to 29 year olds at high risk
Some people aged 16 to 29 can have an additional booster dose. This includes:
- severely immunocompromised people
- pregnant people
- those who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- those who live with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities.
If you are 12 to 15 years old
Healthy children under 16 years old are not eligible for boosters.
Young people aged 12 to 15 who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 can get a booster dose on prescription. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider about whether this is recommended and how to get a prescription.
Children under 12 years old
Children under the age of 12 cannot get a booster.
You can talk to your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider about your child's specific circumstances.
Children have a good immune response and are much less likely to have a severe illness and need to go to hospital if they get COVID-19.
Find out when your last vaccination was
You can check the date of your last vaccination in My Covid Record.
Visit My Covid Record (external link)
To find out over the phone, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline. You can call between 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
Call: 0800 28 29 26
Book a COVID-19 vaccination
It is free, fast and easy to book or change your appointments using the website Book My Vaccine.
Book My Vaccine (external link)
Before you book, check the appointment availability map. It can show you where vaccination sites are, how soon you can get an appointment, and which vaccine types are available.
Appointment availability map | bookmyvaccine.health.nz (external link)
If you need help
If you have problems booking or need to change your details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Book over the phone
The COVID-19 Vaccination Healthline is available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.
Call: 0800 28 29 26
Walk-in vaccination centres
There are many places around New Zealand where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment.
COVID-19 vaccinations, no appointment required | Healthpoint (external link)
Getting proof of your booster
When you get a booster it is added to My Covid Record. You can then download another International Travel Vaccination Certificate or vaccination record.
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