NZ Vaccine Facts

Learn about the COVID-19 pandemic, getting vaccinated, and what the future holds for Aotearoa New Zealand.

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About the series

In early 2020, a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) spread quickly around the world. It caused a serious disease called COVID-19, which has since killed over 4 million people.
 
To protect those we love, Aotearoa New Zealand went into lockdown. We also introduced Alert Levels, traffic light settings, managed borders, contact tracing and started sanitising our hands and wearing face coverings to stay safe.
 
Getting vaccinated is the next step to gain more protection against the virus, which will lead to more certainty for the future. Find out more with NZ Vaccine Facts.

Episode 01 NZ vaccine facts

Episode 1: COVID-19 and why vaccinations are important

Learn more about how Aotearoa New Zealand responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and why getting vaccinated is an important step towards protection from the virus.

Episode 2: What is a virus and how do vaccines work?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. But what is a virus? And how do vaccines prepare you to fight off these ‘invaders’, so you are less likely to get sick if you catch it?

Episode 02 NZ vaccine facts
Episode 03 NZ vax facts

Episode 3: What is an mRNA vaccine?

Vaccines can be made in different ways. For COVID-19, Aotearoa New Zealand chose to use a type of vaccine known as an mRNA vaccine, produced by Pfizer. But what is an mRNA vaccine?

Episode 4: Do vaccines work when a virus changes?

It is natural for a virus to change and produce variations of itself. These are known as 'variants' and are all slightly different to the original virus. But will vaccines still work against them?

Episode 04 NZ vaccine facts
Episode 05 NZ vaccine facts

Episode 5: Are vaccines safe?

Development of vaccines for COVID-19 was based on decades of research. The vaccines were produced quickly because testing was able to be streamlined. Before getting consent for use in Aotearoa New Zealand, vaccines must meet our strict standards for quality and safety.

Episode 6: What are the benefits of vaccination?

The benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risks. A vaccination provides you, your whānau and your communities better protection against the virus. When everyone is vaccinated, this helps to end the pandemic.

Episode 06 NZ vax facts
Episode 07 NZ vax facts

Episode 7: How to get a vaccine and are there side effects?

Booking your COVID-19 vaccination is easy. When you get the 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, you may experience some side effects. So what are they?

Note: The advice about the gap between doses has changed since this video was made. We are now advising all New Zealanders to consider a shorter gap of 3 weeks between their 2 doses, instead of the standard 6 weeks. Reducing this gap means more people can be fully vaccinated sooner, increasing our community immunity.

Episode 8: What else we can do to protect ourselves and others?

Vaccination will help us get back to doing the things we love. But keep carrying out these simple steps so we stay on top of outbreaks: stay home if you are unwell and get a test, keep scanning in to keep track of where you have been, wear a face covering in situations where the virus could spread easily (like on public transport), and wash your hands regularly.

Watch episode 8  (external link)

NZ vaccine facts episode 8

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