Who can get a COVID-19 vaccination

Find advice about the Pfizer vaccine for specific groups and health conditions.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone in New Zealand

You’ll be offered the vaccine if you’re aged 16 or over — it doesn’t matter what your visa or citizenship status is.

We’ll have enough of the Pfizer vaccine for everyone to get the 2 doses they need to be protected.

How to get a COVID-19 vaccination

If you’re under 16

People under the age of 16 are not able to get the Pfizer vaccine at this stage.

Medsafe has given provisional approval of the Pfizer vaccine for young people aged 12 to 15 years. Cabinet is awaiting advice and guidance about when and how to use Pfizer for those aged 12 to 15 within the vaccine rollout. Until then, people aged 12 to 15 cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine. It will not be mandatory for young people to get vaccinated.

If you’re 65 or over

The Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be highly effective and safe in people aged over 65 years.

Everyone aged 65 and over can get early access to the vaccine as part of Group 3.

How to book a vaccination if you're in Group 3

If you have an underlying health condition

Consistently high efficacy of over 92% was observed in the clinical trials for the Pfizer vaccine across age, sex, race, ethnicity, and people with underlying medical conditions.

Vaccine advice for people with underlying health conditions — Ministry of Health (external link)

People with certain underlying health conditions can get early access to the vaccine as part of Group 3.

If you're disabled

If you're aged 16 and over and disabled, you can get early access to the vaccine as part of Group 2 or Group 3.

Find out more about Group 2 and Group 3

Vaccine advice for disabled people — Ministry of Health (external link)

If you’ve had an allergic reaction to any vaccine

If you’ve had a serious or immediate allergic reaction to any vaccine or injection in the past, discuss this with your vaccinator.

If you have a history of anaphylaxis

You shouldn’t get the Pfizer vaccine if you have a history of anaphylaxis:

  • to any ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine
  • to a previous dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

What’s in the Pfizer vaccine — Ministry of Health (external link)

If you’re unwell or have a fever

If you’re unwell on the day of your appointment or have a fever over 38°C, it’s important to delay your COVID-19 vaccination until you’re feeling better.

When your appointment is confirmed, you’ll get instructions on what to do if you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment for any reason.

If you've had COVID-19

You should have the vaccine, even if you've had COVID-19. You should wait at least 4 weeks after you recover before getting the vaccine.

If you’re getting another vaccine

For information about when you should get your flu, MMR and pregnancy vaccinations if you're also getting a COVID-19 vaccination, visit the Ministry of Health website.

Getting other vaccines — Ministry of Health (external link)

If you had your first dose in another country

A range of COVID-19 vaccines are being used internationally, including Pfizer (which is being used in New Zealand), AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen.

If you're pregnant or breastfeeding

You can get your COVID-19 vaccination as part of Group 3 at any stage of your pregnancy. We encourage you to get vaccinated because while you’re pregnant you can become very sick if you get COVID-19.

There are no safety concerns about getting the Pfizer vaccine while you are breastfeeding.

Vaccine advice for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding — Ministry of Health (external link)

If you have another health concern

For advice about getting the Pfizer vaccine, talk to your GP or other healthcare professional.

The Ministry of Health website has information about getting the COVID-19 vaccination for people who are:

  • taking antibiotics
  • immunocompromised
  • receiving cancer treatment
  • living with HIV
  • taking blood-thinning medication
  • getting a CT scan
  • getting a breast screen (mammogram).

Underlying health conditions — Ministry of Health (external link)

CT scans and mammograms — Ministry of Health (external link)

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