About the vaccines we're using

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines being used in New Zealand.

How vaccines work

Vaccines work by teaching the body’s immune system to respond quickly to infection — without being exposed to the infection itself.

Traditionally, most vaccines work by introducing modified versions, or bits of the virus, to the immune system. This prompts the body’s immune system to respond by making protective antibodies. This means that when they come across the real infection, your body is already prepared to fight it off.

Each vaccine is slightly different and has its own characteristics. Specific information about each vaccine will be made available as Medsafe completes its approval processes.

Pfizer and BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) is the first to be given provisional approval by the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Safety Devices Authority (Medsafe).

It is an mRNA vaccine, and is given in 2 doses about 3 weeks apart.

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