Eligibility criteria for young children
Tamariki aged 6 months to 4 years can get the paediatric Pfizer vaccine if they are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. It is a 3-dose course. The second dose should be 3 weeks after the first dose, followed by a third dose given at least 8 weeks after the second dose.
Eligible children include those who are severely immunocompromised, or who have complex or multiple health conditions.
Health conditions include:
- chronic lung disease
- serious heart conditions such as congestive heart failure or congenital heart disease
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic neurological or neuromuscular disease such as cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- a weakened immune system or are on an immunosuppressive treatment such as chemotherapy
- severe haematological disorders
- a transplant in the last 24 months.
You can find more detailed information on the eligibility criteria on the Starship website:
Children aged 6 months to 4 years who do not have these health conditions have a very low likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19. They are not eligible for the vaccine. If you are unsure if your child is eligible, contact your healthcare provider.
Tips before vaccination
Before your child's vaccination appointment:
- provide encouragement and keep them relaxed
- consider scheduling the vaccine appointment for the start of the day to avoid anxiety building up
- make sure they have had something to eat and drink
- check they are wearing clothes that make it easy to see and access their upper arm or thigh.
If they are a little nervous, they are welcome to take something to the appointment that will distract them, like a soft toy, phone or some music.
Make a booking or find a vaccination centre
Not every vaccination site stocks the vaccines for the 6-month to 4-year age group, but there are lots of ways to find a site convenient for you. Book online or over the phone, or visit a walk-in or drive-through vaccination centre.
Check the appointment availability map first — it shows you where vaccination sites are, and how soon you can get an appointment. Choose the 6 months to 4 years age band from the dropdown menu.
If you need help
If you have problems booking or need to change your details, email email@example.com
Book over the phone
It is free to book over the phone, and the team is available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
You can ask for an interpreter if you need one. Translation services are available in over 40 languages, and there is the option to use NZ Relay Services.
It is a good idea to have your child's NHI (National Health Index) number ready. This will make the booking process quicker. You can also make whānau group bookings when you call.
Find a vaccination centre
Not all COVID-19 vaccination sites offer vaccinations to young children. Your local doctor or pharmacy may be able to vaccinate your child. There may also be walk-in or drive-through centres.
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