Get your vaccine booster

Learn about booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines, when you need one and how to get it.

16 and 17 year olds can get a booster

Rangatahi aged 16 or 17 can get a COVID-19 booster 6 months after completing their primary course. You can go into any walk-in vaccination site without booking, or you can book your booster through Book My Vaccine.

If you have had COVID-19, you should wait 3 months after testing positive before getting any COVID-19 vaccination.

Boosters and the flu vaccine

You can have a COVID-19 booster at the same time as your free flu vaccine. You do not need to leave a gap between these vaccines.  

Being up-to-date with all your vaccinations gives you the best possible protection. Check the vaccination site is able to administer both before you arrive.

Who can get a vaccine booster

You can get a free booster now if:

  • you are aged 18 or over, and
  • you are fully vaccinated, and
  • it has been at least 3 months since you completed your primary course (for most people, this is 2 doses).

If you have already booked your booster dose with a 4 month gap, you can keep your original appointment, or change it.

If you are aged 16 or 17

You can get a free Pfizer booster now if:

  • you are fully vaccinated, and
  • it has been at least 6 months since you completed your primary course (for most people, this is 2 doses).

Check when you are due for a booster

To find out how long it has been since your second dose:

If you received your second dose in...

if you are 18 or over, you can get a booster:

if you are 16 or 17, you can get a booster...

October now now
November now May
December now June
January April July
February May August
March June September

How to get your booster

When you arrive for your booster, the date of your last vaccination will be checked in the COVID Immunisation Register (CIR).

Why you should get a booster

We are encouraging everyone who is eligible to get a free booster now. 

Current evidence shows your protection against infection after 2 doses slowly decreases over time. A booster dose will give you greater immunity against COVID-19, including Omicron.

A booster also helps reduce the chance of more serious infection, and it will be less likely that you need hospitalisation.

About the Omicron variant | health.govt.nz (external link)

If you are pregnant

If you are pregnant and aged 16 years or older, it is recommended you receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine to help protect you and your baby against the effects of COVID-19. The booster can be given at any stage of pregnancy. If you are 18 or over, you can get it at least 3 months after your primary course (for most people, this is 2 doses). If you are 16 or 17, you can get it after 6 months.

You should discuss the timing of a booster with your midwife, obstetrician or general practitioner.

Vaccine advice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you have tested positive for COVID-19

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 but you still need a booster dose, we recommend you wait at least 3 months after you have recovered to get your booster. Waiting 3 months provides an increased immune response and better protection if you become re-infected with COVID-19. 

The best timing for the booster dose may be different for everyone. We recommend you speak to your doctor or Heathline on 0800 358 5453 for advice before you get your booster.

If you are immunocompromised

The booster is different to the third primary dose recommended for people who are immunocompromised. People 18 or over who are eligible for a third primary dose, can access a booster dose 3 months after receiving their third primary dose. If you are 16 or 17, you need to wait 6 months until you can get your booster dose.

Vaccine advice if you have a health condition

Second booster dose for people who are at-risk of serious illness from COVID-19

Most people are well protected against becoming very sick from COVID-19 if they’ve had two doses, plus a booster if they’re eligible.  

A second booster dose may be beneficial for those most at-risk of serious illness from COVID-19. 

We are currently working through eligibility criteria for a second booster, and how long after the first booster it would be given.  

We will provide further updates as decisions are made.

Which vaccine you will be given

The Pfizer vaccine is the main vaccine being used in New Zealand for boosters, even if you had a different vaccine for your earlier doses. If you are 16 or 17, you can only get the Pfizer booster.

An AstraZeneca booster is now available 3 months after the second dose for those aged 18 or over, but you will need a prescription. You can get a prescription before your appointment with your preferred doctor, or from a vaccinating AstraZeneca clinic — however not all clinics will be able to provide a prescription. It is free to visit the doctor for an AstraZeneca booster prescription.

What you need to know about the AstraZeneca vaccine

Booster side effects

Side effects of booster doses are like those from primary vaccine doses. These include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, headache, nausea and feeling tired or fatigued.

Side effects

When boosters are mandatory

The Vaccination Order makes it mandatory for workers in critical workforces to also receive a booster dose. 

The timeframes for workers to get a booster still remains the same.

Vaccinations and work

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