This is our main page for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. It is regularly updated with the most recent and important information.
Tamariki aged 5 to 11 will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination from 17 January 2022.
Read more on the Ministry of Health website.
All practices currently delivering COVID-19 vaccinations are able to deliver the paediatric vaccine once:
We hope the majority of our practice sites will deliver this as part of their vaccination programme as soon as possible as we know general practice is currently the most trusted place of vaccination. If you elect not to deliver from 17 January you can opt in at a later date.
There are no plans for a school-based immunisation programme, but some schools are being considered as community vaccination sites. This will add capacity to the vaccination network and make it even easier for families to get vaccinated.
The COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group has advised shortening the period between the second and booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine, from six months to four.
This is the first step in accelerating the booster rollout, following advice from the director-general of health. This is a pragmatic step and is in line with what other countries are doing.
Two doses likely hold a good degree of protection against severe disease from Omicron. A third dose is likely to offer greater protection against transmission of COVID-19 and reduce the chance of more serious infection.
Anyone aged 18 or over will be able to receive the booster shot after four months from their second dose from early 2022 (date to be advised).
Until then the status quo applies; Boosters are available to those 18 years and over, and 6 months after the second dose. Those already eligible can book their booster using Book My Vaccine.
The updated operational guidelines for boosters is available on the Ministry of Health website.
The Ministry of Health has developed a brochure to explain how and when Pfizer booster vaccines should be used.
Functionality was recently deployed into CIR to support the generation of My COVID Record - Vaccine Pass and International Certificates directly from CIR. This has been enabled to assist in circumstances where a person, who meets the required criteria for a pass or certificate, is unable to self-serve and access their Vaccine Pass or International Certificate from My COVID Record. This functionality has been extended to all COVID-19 vaccination sites, including general practice until at least 30 December.
These instructions provide a step-by-step guide of how to navigate the CIR and apply for ‘My Vaccine Pass’ on a persons behalf.
This poster has been designed to put up in practice.
It is suggested practices keep a manual list of NHIs if they print passes and certificates until it's known whether practices will receive funding for printing these.
Vaccine booking appointments are open to all people over 12 years, regardless of residency or visa status.
The Ministry of Health regularly publishes statistics on the rollout programme. The data is updated daily.
Detailed information about the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for the severely immunocompromised can be found in the Ministry of Health policy statement and clinical guidance document. You will see that this is a very small subset of the people who were in Group three.
Accessing the third dose is complicated as it is currently 'off label' and the MOH has required both a prescription to be written and a written consent form to be signed. (The consent form is also available via Health Pathways.)
Please note this is not a booster. Read more on our information for COVID-19 vaccinating practices page.
This hospital based high risk vaccination clinic is for cases where there is concern about administering COVID-19 vaccination, either because of a past history of reactions or because of an immediate (within 4 hours) reaction to the first dose.
These patients all receive antihistamine pre-medication prior to vaccination and are observed for at least 30 minutes observation afterwards.
The High Risk Vaccination Clinic runs approximately once every two weeks.
Clients CAN NOT be booked via a phone call.
General Practice vaccination is appropriate (assuming high risk criteria are not met) for the following.
Please note that these guidelines do not address myocarditis/pericarditis as a contraindication to or as a result of vaccination. Where possible, these patients should be vaccinated in the community however we would recommend this take place at a GP practice. Drive-through clinics should not vaccinate these patients without medical back-up. Those with a history of anaphylaxis, systemic mastocytosis, or an immediate mild reaction to their first dose should wait for 30 minutes after the vaccine. They may choose to take antihistamines (e.g. cetirizine or loratadine 20mg) 30 minutes before the vaccine. This advice is consistent with IMAC guidelines.
This anaesthetic lead service can be accessed using the same eReferral process as the COVID-19 high risk vaccination clinic (as per details above).
Current referral criteria:
This may be modified at later date depending on demand.
The Ministry of Health has advised the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be administered at the same time, before or after most other vaccines. The exception to this is for the Zostavax (shingles) vaccine where a 7-day interval, before or after administering Pfizer COVID-19 is advised. The recommendations are based on immunological principles and existing knowledge on vaccines.
Initially the COVID-19 vaccine was given separately from other vaccines in order to monitor any adverse events after COVID-19 vaccine, separately from events after any other vaccine. Now the COVID-19 vaccine has been widely used and its effects well-documented and understood, separate administration for this reason is no longer needed.
Existing vaccination programmes can continue to go ahead as planned, without COVID-19 vaccinations impacting this.
Zostovax vaccine requires a gap because older individuals that are administered the live-attenuated zoster vaccine (Zostavax) and the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the same time could potentially have a reduced immune response to one or both of the vaccines.
Please continue to enter COVID-19 vaccine events into the CIR and any other vaccines into the NIR / PMS separately.
If providers can offer other vaccines at the same time as giving the COVID-19 vaccine, this should be encouraged to ensure that people are up to date with their immunisation schedule.
You may receive calls from people who have received the vaccine and suspect they may have experienced a side effect related to the vaccination. Like all medicines, the vaccine may cause side effects in some people. These are common, are usually mild and don’t last long and won’t stop you from having the second dose or going about your daily life.
A reporting form for adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs) with COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) website and is designed to make reporting of AEFIs easier. Please use this form to report all suspected AEFIs for COVID-19 vaccines. You do not have to be certain that the vaccine caused the event in order to report.
Medsafe is actively encouraging healthcare professionals and members of the public to report suspected AEFIs for COVID-19 vaccines to:
Medsafe and regulators across the globe are sharing emerging anonymised safety data. See the data sheet (PDF) and consumer medicine information summary (PDF) for the expected reactions for approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Medsafe is publishing weekly safety monitoring reports associated with COVID-19 vaccination.
The Government has announced the mandating of COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare workers, with the requirement that workers must have had their first vaccination by 30 October and be fully vaccinated by 1 December, in order to continue working in healthcare roles. The public health order applied to everyone working in general practices effective from 11.59pm, 25 October 2021.
The Ministry of Health advise people working in general practice to obtain proof of vaccination through My Covid Record and provide that record to their employer. If workers are unable to provide proof of vaccination employers are advised to assume the worker is unvaccinated. Employers need to commence an employment process with those who have not provided evidence of having at least one vaccination.
Practices receive inbox messages notifying when a patient has had a COVID-19 vaccination.
indici practices can automatically file the CIR notification
Click on the file within the notification of the CIR message and it creates the immunisation within the patient record. This looks no different to, for example, receiving a 'given elsewhere' vaccine for a flu vaccination, except it says 'CIR notification' rather than 'NIR notification'.
Non-indici practices have a more manual process
It’s suggested practices use the information to record the vaccine as “given elsewhere”, then file the result. Eventually the COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR) will work in a similar way to the NIR, with an automatic ability to 'update details' in the system. We will update with those details once that's up and running.
The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) is your local source of scientific and clinical information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. It has a wide range of useful clinical COVID-19 resources, including frequently asked questions.
If you require more immediate clinical advice, including in the context of an individual patient or event, please call 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863). This is staffed by clinical advisors from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. Clinicians can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Alternatively you can speak to your Pinnacle GP liaison, or Dr Jo Scott-Jones, medical director if you think it is a question with an answer worth sharing broadly in the network. Contacts listed below.
A support team has been set up to help people with disabilities get vaccinated. The team answering calls are either disabled themselves or allies of the community. They assist disabled people and their carers to get information about the vaccine, make bookings, organise tailored support at vaccination sites and arrange transport. People can call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 for free 8am–8pm Monday to Friday and ‘push 2’ to speak to the team.
The deaf and hard of hearing community can now text 8988 for access to vaccine information, for help booking a vaccination appointment, or to arrange transport to get vaccinated. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is an addition to the COVID Vaccination Healthline dedicated phone and email support for disabled people and people living with impairments to get their COVID-19 vaccination. Please promote this service amongst your networks. A NZSL explanation is available on the Deaf Aotearoa website or via Vimeo.
To contact Whakarongau Healthline:
The Disability COVID Vaccination Healthline team is available between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. Healthline can book transport and other accommodations. Alternatively, disabled people can use the NZ Relay Service to contact Healthline, which offers services for Deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired and deafblind people via:
The helpdesk is open 24/7 and can be reached via:
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is now available as an alternative option to the Pfizer vaccine.
People who are unable to take the Pfizer vaccine (or who are hesitant about it), may choose to have AstraZeneca instead. These people will use Book My Vaccine to book their vaccine appointment at one of the selected vaccination sites offering this option (a limited number of sites will be offered as Pfizer remains the main vaccine, and sites will have capacity specifically allocated for Māori.)
AstraZeneca is a two dose course and there are no requirements for a prescription. However, if for any reason it is offered as a single dose, this will be considered ‘off label’ use and a prescription will be needed. (People are able to have AstraZeneca as their second dose after having Pfizer for their first but MUST get a prescription for this. The consult to get this is free.)
To find out more about the use of AstraZeneca visit this IMAC web page.
IMAC has published information providing clarifications on AstraZeneca use.
TTS is a rare but serious condition causing blood clots and bleeding that has been seen overseas in a small number of people who have had the AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccines. There is currently no evidence of an increased risk of thrombosis or TTS with the Pfizer vaccine.
The differences between thrombosis (blood clots) and TTS, information on how to identify TTS and when to seek medical attention, is explained in a brochure published on the Medsafe website and the Ministry of Health website.
Almost everyone can have the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. There are very few medical reasons for not having the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and other situations where vaccination can be done in a controlled environment. IMAC confirms the only medical reason for not having a COVID-19 vaccine is having a documented severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of the mRNA-CV vaccine or any component of the vaccine.
Advice is available when there is a history of an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity, or complication (myocarditis, pericarditis) from the first dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Further advice can be found on the HealthPathways COVID-19 Vaccination pathway.
A statement has been developed by ASCIA, the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand as a guide for COVID-19 vaccination in people with allergy, immunodeficiency and autoimmune conditions, and is updated when new information is available.
The NZ Region of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, the NZ Cardiac Clinical Network, the National Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Network and the National Heart Foundation of New Zealand recommend all patients with cardiovascular disease are vaccinated with Comirnaty (Pfizer) or another approved vaccine as early as possible.
Read the Australian Government Guidance on myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. This guidance has been developed jointly by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian College of Remote and Rural Medicine (ACRRM), and the Australasian College of Emergency (ACEM) and last updated 8 November.
Te Aho o Te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency, has recently released advice for clinicians on COVID-19 vaccines and cancer. People with cancer are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and are more likely to develop a serious infection. The advice supports people with cancer receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and outlines those who should be prioritised to receive it.
Data shows no evidence that the vaccine is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage during pregnancy, and no additional safety concerns have been raised. The Pfizer vaccine does not contain a live virus or any ingredients that are harmful to pregnant people or their babies
You can get the Pfizer vaccine at any stage of pregnancy, if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. The vaccine protects you as you’re far less likely to fall seriously ill. It also protects your pēpi as there is evidence that babies can get antibodies through the placenta that help protect them from COVID-19. If you catch COVID-19 when you’re pregnant, you are more likely to become very unwell. If you’re not vaccinated, you are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit – particularly with the Delta variant. There are also increased risks for babies. Babies are five times more likely to be born prematurely and require neonatal intensive care.
Ministry of Health advice related to pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine as well as vaccine advice for other specific groups can be found on their website.
As with all vaccines on the New Zealand Immunisation Schedule, there are no safety concerns about giving mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to women who are breastfeeding.
Scammers will use any opportunity to try to trick and manipulate people into giving out their personal or financial details, especially through email and SMS scams. CERT NZ is working to put a stop to COVID-19 vaccine scam campaigns and ensure the safe roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Government cyber security agency, CERT NZ has been made aware of examples of COVID-19 vaccine scams overseas. It is felt that is is only a matter of time before scams evolve to become New Zealand focused. It pays to remain vigilant as the vaccine rollout starts. If you’re unsure if something is legitimate you can report it confidentially to the COVID-19 vaccine scam reporting government agency CERT NZ.
CERT NZ has set up a dedicated web page and email address for reporting - COVID-19 scams - cert.govt.nz
People working in the health sector are seen as trusted sources of information that people may come to for guidance. Some important points to remember are:
ACC can provide treatment and support for injuries caused by COVID-19 vaccination if the criteria for treatment injury are met. This means there’s a physical injury caused by the vaccination, that’s not a necessary part or ordinary consequence of the treatment.
For example, inflammation around the site of the injection is common with COVID-19 vaccination (an ordinary consequence) and is unlikely to be covered. Infections (such as cellulitis or septic arthritis) due to the vaccination, and anaphylaxis resulting in injury, are not ordinary consequences and are likely to be covered.
To make a treatment injury claim for a patient you will need to complete an ACC2152 treatment injury claim form as well as an electronic or manual ACC45 injury claim form.
To help with ACC's reporting, ACC needs to know the COVID-19 vaccine brand name and vaccination dose number (i.e. dose one or two). This can be noted in the following ways.
Further information is in the related resources linked below.
The Ministry of Health advice is under active review - please use their website as the source of correct, up to date information at all times.
Jan Adams, Nursing Director
021 904 460