Support and information for disabled people

This section contains information for disabled people and people with impairments or underlying medical conditions and their whānau and communities.

Latest update — 24 November 2021

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you can now text 8988 for access to vaccine information, help booking a vaccination appointment, or to arrange transport to get vaccinated. 

How to book your COVID-19 vaccination

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Vaccines protect you

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine protects you, your whānau and your community. The vaccine teaches your body how to fight the virus. It will protect you from getting very sick if you do get COVID-19. It protects your whānau and friends because you are less likely to pass COVID-19 on to people around you.

My Vaccine Pass

As Aotearoa New Zealand transitions to the new COVID Protection Framework, you will need to show proof of your vaccination to enter venues and events.

You can request your vaccine pass by using My Covid Record. You will need an email address and some documentation to verify your identity.

How to use My Covid Record

If you cannot use My Covid Record

If you cannot use My Covid Recoird, you can request your My Vaccine Pass by:

  • calling 0800 222 478  — 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • getting your My Vaccine Pass in person at any pharmacy that is offering COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 and pushing '2' to speak to the disability team.

Once you get your pass, keep it in a safe place, so it's ready to use when we move to the COVID Protection Framework.

Find out more about My Vaccine Pass

Find a participating pharmacy near you (external link)

Making the decision to get vaccinated

You can choose to get the vaccine. You can say yes or no or ask for help making your decision. 

Everyone should have the opportunity to take an active role in making decisions about their emotional wellbeing, their physical health and the things that are important to them.

Everyone has their own reasons for choosing to get vaccinated

For disabled people or people with an impairment, this journey may look a little different. Deciding whether to be vaccinated, finding the most appropriate site and place to be vaccinated, and who to contact if you need transport, are significant parts of the journey that can affect disabled people’s experiences. We have created the Manaakitanga Journey online tool to help support disabled people to get vaccinated.

Other ideas and resources

Supporting someone with a disability to get vaccinated

If you are supporting someone with a disability to make a decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can use one of the supported decision making tools. 

Choose the guidance tool or combination of tools that best suits the person you are supporting.

Where to get your vaccination

For disabled people and people with an impairment or long-term health condition, we want to make sure that getting your COVID-19 vaccination is easy and accessible.

Some vaccination sites are specifically set up to support disabled people. These sites will have:  

  • good mobility and wheelchair access
  • accessible bathrooms
  • low sensory environments
  • trained and friendly staff who are happy to talk with you and answer questions

If you have decided you want to get the vaccine, it is easy to get vaccinated.

You can get your vaccination at:

  • an accessible site.
  • your doctor or local pharmacy
  • any other local vaccination centre near you.

Some vaccination centres are fully accessible. Your family, whānau and support workers are also welcome to get their vaccinations with you.

Fully accessible vaccination centres

Booking your COVID-19 vaccination

You can book your vaccination by:

  • calling the COVID Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 and pushing '2' to speak to the disability team. The COVID Healthline is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
  • using the free text option on 8988. 
  • emailing  accessiblecovidvaccinations@whakarongorau.nz
  • using Book My Vaccine. The website is accessible and can be used with a screen reader. 

Book My Vaccine (external link)

When you make your appointment, you can ask for support, including:

  • an NZSL interpreter

  • support to make decisions

  • assistance to move around

  • a longer appointment time

  • a quiet or low sensory environment

  • more space to move around.

You can ask the team to help you book an appointment at an accessible site, or any other vaccination site that will meet your needs. They can also help with transport and help you to decide whether a home vaccination might be right for you.

Here is a list of the most accessible vaccination centres around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Getting ready for your vaccination

You can take a support person with you when you get your vaccination. This can be a carer, or someone else you trust.

When you get to the vaccination site, you will need to sign in. If you need an NZSL interpreter or information in an accessible format, please ask.

When it is your time to get vaccinated, the staff will ask you whether it is okay to give you the vaccine. If you say yes, this is called consent. If you cannot give consent, someone who is allowed to make decisions for you can give consent for you.

The vaccinator may also ask you questions about how you are feeling, and what medication you take. 

It is normal to feel scared or worried. Ask the vaccinator if you have any questions.

You will need to wait for 15 minutes after your vaccination. If this is hard for you, ask if you can wait somewhere else.

Everyone has their own reason for getting vaccinated

Everyone has their own reason for getting vaccinated

Face coverings and exemptions

Even though face coverings are mandatory in many places, we know that some people who have a disability may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed, for example to a bus driver.

You do not need to have an exemption card, but you may feel more comfortable showing something official to confirm you cannot wear a face covering.

If you are having trouble communicating with someone who is wearing a face covering, you can ask them to remove it during your conversation.

Get an exemption card

You can request a card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or at info@dpa.org.nz

wheelchair user with face covering

Help and support

It is okay to be worried about COVID-19. If you feel like this, it is important to look after your mental health. 

  • Talking to someone can help your mental health. You can talk to someone that you trust like a friend, family member, carer, support worker or a doctor. 
  • Look after yourself by eating healthy food, getting a good night's sleep, or going out for exercise.
  • Stay connected with your whānau and friends. You can also keep in touch with them by phone, through social media or video calls.

Where you can get help

There are websites you can visit and phone lines you can call if you need help.

Check our the free services and resources available to you

Financial support

If your income has been affected by COVID-19, you may be able to get financial assistance.

You can also get help to buy food and other essential items if you cannot go to the shops.

Information in alternate formats

Find information about COVID-19 in alternate formats:

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