Who can get a COVID-19 vaccination

The Pfizer vaccine will be free and available to everyone aged 16 and over. Find out what to do if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, are getting another vaccination, or have a health condition.

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

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

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

Find out when you can get a vaccine

If you’re under 16

People under the age of 16 are not included for now, because the vaccines have not been tested on this age group yet.

If you’re over 65 years old

The Pfizer vaccine has shown to be highly effective in adults aged 65 and over. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your vaccinator or doctor first.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding

Based on how the vaccine works, experts believe it is as safe for pregnant people as for everyone else.

The Pfizer vaccine does not contain the live virus, so cannot give you or your baby COVID-19 – but it can offer protection against the disease for you and your baby. 

As with all vaccinations, be sure to talk to your midwife, GP or healthcare professional before you get the vaccine, to make sure you have the right information for you and your baby.

It is also safe for you and your baby to breastfeed after you’ve been vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy and breastfeeding (external link)

If you're trying for a baby

There is no biologically plausible reason why the Pfizer vaccine could have any effect on your genes or fertility. The mRNA from the vaccine does not enter the nucleus of any cells, which is where DNA is situated.

If you have an underlying health condition

People with some underlying health conditions will be able to get early access to the vaccine. At the moment, relevant health conditions include:

  • serious and chronic respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • chronic kidney/renal disease
  • diabetes
  • coronary heart conditions
  • stroke
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • cancer, excluding basal and squamous skin cancers if not invasive.

We will review this list as more evidence on underlying health conditions, the COVID-19 virus and vaccines becomes available.

If you’re on blood-thinning medication

If you’re on blood-thinning medications or have a bleeding disorder, let your vaccinator know.

If you’ve had an allergic reaction to any vaccine

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

If you’re also getting a flu or measles vaccination

Gaps between different vaccinations

You'll need to wait at least:

  • 2 weeks between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and influenza (flu) vaccine
  • 4 weeks between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine if you get the MMR vaccine first
  • 2 weeks between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine if you get the COVID-19 vaccine first.

If you have a COVID-19 vaccination appointment

  • Get both doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine first.
  • You can get your flu vaccine from 2 weeks after your second dose.
  • If you're 16-30 years old, you may need to get a measles vaccination too.

If you do not have a COVID-19 vaccination appointment

  • Get your flu vaccination first.
  • You can get your COVID-19 vaccination from 2 weeks after this.
  • If you're 16-30 years old, you may need to get a measles vaccination too.

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