What to expect when you get your vaccination

Find out what will happen at your COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

What will happen at your appointment

1. When you get there

A healthcare worker will talk you through what is going to happen.

You will be asked:

  • for your name, date of birth and physical address so we can verify this in the COVID Immunisation Register (you do not need to show identification)
  • to give your verbal consent to receive the vaccine — this is standard practice for any vaccination.

COVID Immunisation Register (CIR) privacy statement | Ministry of Health (external link)

2. Getting your vaccination

A fully trained vaccinator will give you the vaccine in your upper arm.

3. After receiving your vaccination

You will need to stay for at least 15 minutes after your vaccination so we can make sure you are okay.

Which COVID-19 vaccine you will get

Pfizer is the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for use in New Zealand.

If you are 18 years of age or older and either you cannot get the Pfizer vaccine or you want a different option, you can get the AstraZeneca or the Novavax vaccine.

You will be given the option to choose your vaccine type when you book. The AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines are not available at all vaccination sites.

Whichever vaccine you get, you will need 2 doses.

COVID-19 vaccines used in New Zealand

Common side effects

As with all medicines, you might experience some mild side effects. This is common, and a sign that your body is learning to fight the virus.

Side effects

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