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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Vaccinations for adults

Keeping yourself and your community safe from disease is a lifelong commitment. If you do not think you are fully up to date with your vaccinations, check with your general practice.

Diphtheria and tetanus

At 45 and 65 years old you should have a booster dose against diphtheria and tetanus if you have not had one in the last 10 years. You may have to pay a small charge for the vaccination.


Everyone over 6 months old should have a flu vaccination each year, especially people who live or work with vulnerable people such as children and older people. If you are 65 or over, pregnant, or have a chronic health condition you will not have to pay to get this vaccination at your general practice.


Having COVID-19 does not provide the same level of immunity as getting vaccinated. We also know that your protection from the primary course of the vaccine (usually 2 doses) decreases over time.

To keep your immunity levels high, stay up to date with your vaccinations, including boosters. This will lower your chances of getting very sick from COVID-19 and ending up in hospital.

Boosters are especially recommended for:


The Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is free from your general practice from 13 weeks of pregnancy until you've given birth. By protecting yourself you are also protecting your baby. The earlier you're vaccinated, the more likely it is that both you and your baby will be protected.

Pertussis is a serious disease and in New Zealand there are outbreaks every three to four years, infecting many vulnerable people. We recommend women have this vaccination at every pregnancy.

If you are living or working with vulnerable people, especially newborns, it's best to get this vaccination every five or 10 years (although you will be charged for it). Young babies do not have the best possible protection from pertussis until they have completed their first three vaccinations at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months.


The Shingrix vaccine is used to protect adults against shingles. It's given as two injections, two to six months apart.

Shingrix is funded for 65-year-olds. This means you can get free vaccinations at your general practice and some pharmacies.

It is also free for people who are 18 years of age and over and who have health conditions that increase their risk of shingles. This includes people with a weakened immune system. See Eligibility criteria for immunocompromised people for more information.

If you're between 50 and 65, or 66 or older, you can get the vaccinations at your general practice and some pharmacies, but you'll have to pay for them.

You can have the vaccinations even if you've previously had shingles as they can help stop you getting shingles again.

Written by the Canterbury Immunisation Provider Group. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2021.

See also:

Helping with fear of vaccination

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Page reference: 370198

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