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HealthInfo Canterbury

COVID-19 vaccines

Ngā ārai mate korona

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COVID-19 vaccination information

A new vaccine is now being used for booster doses. The new vaccine targets the original COVID-19 virus and the Omicron variants.

If you're aged 30 years or over or are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, you can receive an additional booster. To get the booster, it needs to have been at least six months since your last COVID-19 booster or positive COVID-19 test.

For more information, see COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

For up-to-date information about where to get your COVID-19 vaccinations in Waitaha/Canterbury and Te Tai Poutini/West Coast, see Canterbury and West Coast Vaccination roll-out.

The Government has a comprehensive plan to access safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for all New Zealanders.

COVID-19 vaccine safety

Before vaccines are provided to the community, they must be approved by Medsafe. Medsafe is the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority and is part of the Ministry of Health. It's responsible for regulating medicines. It's Medsafe's role to assess the available data about a vaccine before approving its use in New Zealand.

For more information about vaccine safety see COVID-19 vaccines from Immunise NZ.

Getting COVID-19 vaccinations

Everyone aged 5 and over can book to get free COVID-19 vaccinations. See Book your COVID-19 vaccination.

Types of COVID-19 vaccine

Several types of vaccine technology have been used to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, the Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines are being used in New Zealand.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine's brand name is Comirnaty. It's available for people aged 5 and over. See Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for information about this vaccine.

The AstraZeneca vaccine's brand name is Vaxzevria. It's available for people aged 18 and over. See AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for information about this vaccine.

Novavax is also available for people aged 18 and over. See Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for information about this vaccine.

Vaccines for children

Tamariki (children) aged 5 and older can get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Tamariki aged from 6 months to 4 years with a severely weakened immune system (immunocompromised) or who have complex or multiple health conditions can also get vaccinated.

You can read information about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children.

Vaccine booster doses

The Pfizer bivalent vaccine has replaced the previous Pfizer booster.

See COVID-19 vaccine boosters for more details about boosters and who's eligible to get them.

Choosing to get vaccinated

It isn't mandatory to have the vaccine, which means you won't be made to have it. But getting vaccinated is one of the best ways you can protect not only yourself but members of your whānau (family) and vulnerable members of the community from getting COVID-19.

What to expect when getting the vaccination

What to expect when getting the vaccination on the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website give you more information about getting COVID-19 vaccinations.

There's also information about COVID-19 vaccines in easy read format.

Getting true information about COVID-19 vaccines

There have been examples in New Zealand and overseas of people using the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out to spread misinformation and scam people into giving out their financial and personal details. The Government cyber security agency CERT NZ is working closely with other government agencies to try to stop these scams.

Key things to know are that:

See below for reliable and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines.

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On the next page: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Content shared between HealthInfo Canterbury, KidsHealth and Health Navigator NZ as part of a National Health Content Hub collaborative. Last reviewed February 2022. Last updated March 2023.


See also:

Helping with fear of vaccination

Page reference: 846244

Review key: HICOV-710714