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HealthInfo Canterbury

COVID-19 vaccines

Ngā ārai mate KORONA-19

This page has links to information in other languages.


The COVID-19 roll-out in Canterbury and West Coast

For up-to-date information about the COVID-19 roll-out in Canterbury/Waitaha, West Coast/Te Tai Poutini and Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Island, 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. Read more about the COVID-19 vaccine strategy.

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 The Immunisation Advisory Centre.

Timeframe for getting the COVID-19 vaccine

In New Zealand, vaccines will become available in stages. Priority groups will be vaccinated in the first and second quarters of this year (February to June). The general population will be vaccinated in the second half of the year.

The order of when people will get vaccinated is based on providing the best protection for those who are at a higher risk of becoming infected (such as border workers) and for those more likely to have poor outcomes from COVID-19 (such as older people and those with serious illnesses).

Since we have no or low community transmission, those most at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 will be vaccinated first. This includes border and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers and COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers. It also includes these groups' household contacts.

To check which group you're in, see the Find out what group you're in tool on the Government's COVID-19 website.

Types of COVID-19 vaccine

Several types of vaccine technology have been used to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is being used in New Zealand. This vaccine's brand name is Comirnaty. See Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for information about this vaccine.

Choosing to get vaccinated

It won't be 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

COVID-19 vaccine information sheets on the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website give you more information about getting COVID-19 vaccinations.

Many of these resources are also available in over 20 other languages including Te Reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.

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

Adapted from Health Navigator by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created March 2021. Last updated June 2021.


See also:

Helping with fear of vaccination

Page reference: 846244

Review key: HICOV-710714