COVID-19 vaccination: Everything you need to know

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, voluntary and available to everyone in Aotearoa aged 16 and over.

Who will be offered a vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, voluntary and available to everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over.
It doesn't matter what your visa or citizenship status is. We will not use any information collected for immigration purposes.
People under the age of 16 are not included for now. This is because the vaccines have not been tested on this age group yet.
Vaccine advice for specific groups and health conditions

When you can get vaccinated

We’re rolling out the vaccine in stages. Everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over will be in 1 of 4 vaccine groups.

First, we’ll protect those most at risk of catching COVID-19 in their workplace. This will reduce the risk of future outbreaks and lockdowns.

Next, we’ll vaccinate people most at risk of getting seriously sick or dying if they get the virus.

Finally, we’ll vaccinate everyone else in Aotearoa aged 16 and over.

The vaccine is free for everyone and no one will miss out.

Find out when you can get a vaccine

If you need to travel overseas on compassionate grounds or for reasons of national significance, you may be able to apply for an early vaccination.

How to apply for an early vaccination

How to book a vaccination

Your local district health board (DHB) is managing vaccinations in your area. When and how you book will depend on which group you're in. Different regions will start at different times.

Vaccinations will be available at a range of locations, including pop-up centres, GPs, Māori and Pacific healthcare providers, mobile clinics and community clinics.

How to book your vaccination appointments

The COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone in New Zealand. Do not share your bank details with anyone offering you the vaccine for a fee.

COVID-19 vaccine scams

Which vaccine you’ll be given

The Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in New Zealand. We have secured 10 million doses – enough for 5 million people to get the 2 doses they need to be protected.

It works by teaching your immune system to recognise and fight off the virus.

The Pfizer vaccine:

  • is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine
  • does not contain any live virus, or dead or deactivated virus
  • can't give you COVID-19
  • can't affect your DNA
  • does not contain any animal products.

You’ll need to get your second dose of the vaccine at least 21 days (3 weeks) after your first dose.

How the vaccine works — Ministry of Health(external link) (external link)

Other vaccines we've agreed to purchase — Ministry of Health (external link)(external link) (external link)

Vaccine safety and effectiveness

There have been no shortcuts taken in granting approval

New Zealand's medicines safety authority Medsafe assesses applications for all new medicines. This includes vaccines.

For Medsafe to recommend approval for use in New Zealand, a medicine must meet international standards and local requirements for quality, safety and efficacy. 

This is the same process used to assess other medicines, like the flu vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine has been used successfully by millions worldwide. It continues to be monitored for safety.

Vaccine development and safety

The Pfizer vaccine is highly effective if people have both doses

Studies show that about 95% of people who have received both doses of the vaccine are protected against getting COVID-19 symptoms. This means that once you are fully vaccinated, you are far less likely to fall seriously ill.

Vaccine effectiveness and protection — Ministry of Health (external link)

Why it’s important to get vaccinated

When you get vaccinated, you’re not just protecting yourself. You’re also doing your bit to protect your whānau, friends and community.

How we're making sure everyone can get vaccinated

Our plan is to:

  • supply enough vaccines to protect Aotearoa and the Pacific
  • protect Māori, Pacific peoples, and other groups at greater risk of COVID-19
  • make it easy for people to get vaccinated
  • put safety first with all COVID-19 vaccines
  • ensure we are prepared for future outbreaks
  • support New Zealand’s contribution to global well-being.

The role of Māori and Pacific health providers

While all health providers are responsible for vaccinating the Māori and Pacific people in their communities, we know Māori and Pacific providers hold trusted relationships with the whānau they serve.

We are partnering with Māori and Pacific providers so they can deliver tailored and targeted approaches to their communities as part of the wider COVID-19 vaccination programme rollout. 

Vaccine strategy and planning (external link)

COVID-19 vaccination workforce

We’re seeking interest from those who’d like to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination workforce.

Both paid and volunteer opportunities are available in various locations, and we’re looking for skills from both health and non-health backgrounds.

Join the COVID-19 vaccination teams — Ministry of Health (external link)

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