Getting a COVID-19 vaccine

We are expecting enough vaccines for everyone in New Zealand. They will be free and voluntary for the general public.

Who can get the vaccines

We are expecting enough vaccines for everyone in New Zealand. We are also buying vaccines for people in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.

COVID-19 vaccines will be free and voluntary for the general public.

They will be available for everyone in New Zealand, regardless of their visa or citizenship status. Any information collected will not be used for immigration purposes.

When you could get a vaccine

Border and MIQ workers

The first group to be vaccinated are border workers, people working in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities, and their household contacts. This is because they are most at risk of getting COVID-19.

Border and MIQ workers include:

  • cleaners
  • nurses who do MIQ health checks
  • security staff
  • customs and border officials
  • airline staff
  • hotel workers.

Household contacts include anyone over 16 who lives full-time or part-time with a border or MIQ worker. It also covers papakāinga and other shared communal living arrangements.

More information for border and MIQ workers (external link)

Why household contacts will also be offered the vaccine

We don’t have any evidence yet that the vaccine will stop transmission of the virus. To reduce the risk of people with a connection to the border getting COVID-19, we are offering the vaccine to both border workers and their household contacts. 

Mandatory testing of border and MIQ workers

We will continue to carry out regular testing of our border and MIQ workforce.

Non-border frontline healthcare workers

Betweent March and June we expect to be able to offer vaccines to the next at-risk workforce. Non-border frontline healthcare workers include people like general practitioners, pharmacists and people working in our testing centres.

Other at-risk people

We then expect to shift the focus of the immunisation programme to include a broader range of at-risk people, such as other health workforces, older adults, and those with a relevant underlying health condition.

The general public

We expect to start vaccinations for the general public in the second half of 2021.

If you’re interested in being a vaccinator

We’re looking for extra vaccinators to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

If you’re a retired health professional or not currently working in the health workforce and want to volunteer, visit the Ministry of Health's website to register your interest.

Register your interest in being a vaccinator (external link)

How vaccines will affect our borders

At this stage, it isn’t clear how the availability of vaccines here and around the world will influence changes to New Zealand's border controls.

We know the vaccines protect individuals from the effects of the virus. However, it is too early for researchers to confirm whether a vaccinated person could still transmit COVID-19 to someone else.

Until we know for sure, we need to keep our current border settings.

Vaccines approved for use in New Zealand

The 4 vaccines we have secured are going through the approval process at different times. So far, the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is the only vaccine approved for use in New Zealand.

Our COVID-19 vaccine agreements

You will not have a choice about which vaccine you receive.

Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine (Comirnaty)

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has been approved by the Government for use in people 16 years and older.  

About the vaccines we're using

How we’re making sure our immunisation programme is fair

The best protection for everyone in New Zealand is to protect those who are most at-risk of infection. Who we vaccinate first will only change if our situation changes – for example, if there is widespread community transmission.

We’re working in partnership with Māori to make sure we uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles while developing and delivering the programme.

Report a COVID-19 vaccine scam

We will never ask you to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine or to secure your place in a queue. If you are asked — by email or SMS, for example — it's probably a scam.

If you are aware of a COVID-19 vaccine-related scam, report it to CERT NZ.

Report a COVID-19 vaccine scam to CERT NZ (external link)

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