Immunisation is a way of preventing infectious diseases. Vaccinations are offered to babies, children and adults to protect against serious and preventable diseases.
Immunisation uses your body’s natural defence mechanism, the immune response, to build resistance to specific infections. If you have been immunised and you come into contact with that disease, your immune system will respond to prevent you developing the disease.
All vaccines approved for use in New Zealand have a good safety record and have ongoing safety monitoring. You can find out more at the University of Auckland Immunisation Advisory Centre website, or you can call 0800 IMMUNE to have your queries answered.
When should you get immunised?
The National Immunisation Schedule provides a series of free vaccinations timed for different life stages. Immunising on time provides the best protection. Missing or delaying a vaccination can put your family’s health at risk.
- Babies and young children
- Older children
- Travelling overseas
- Are my immunisations up to date?
How do you get immunised?
Your doctor or nurse can provide the vaccinations, which are generally given as injections in the arm or leg (rotavirus vaccine is given as drops of liquid into the mouth). Contact your family doctor to make an appointment. Pharmacists, midwives and other specially trained health professionals can also offer some vaccines.
Vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule are free. Other vaccines are funded only for people at particular risk of disease. You can choose to pay for vaccines that you are not eligible to receive for free.
Requesting your child’s immunisation records
We have received a number of requests from parents in Australia wanting their children’s immunisation records.
- Find out more about requesting your child’s immunisation records
Changes to the Immunisation Schedule from 2017
PHARMAC have announced changes to the New Zealand National Immunisation Schedule that take effect in 2017. From 1 January, HPV immunisation will be free for everyone, male or female, aged 9 to 26. From 1 July 2017, chickenpox immunisation will be free for all children at 15 months of age. Other brand and dosing changes will also take effect from that date. For more information, visit the PHARMAC website
Immunisation advice reflects the National Immunisation Schedule as at July 2016. Information will be updated as the changes for 2017 take effect.
Year 7 and 8 immunisations
At participating schools, children in Year 7 are offered free immunisations against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Girls in year 8 are offered the HPV immunisation. You can also get them at your general practice.
Duane and Hinetaapora talk about getting immunised against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (or pertussis). What does immunisation do and why do you need it? What are immunisations for and how do they work? How do you get parental consent?
Hinetaapora talks with Ella, a public health nurse, about getting immunised against the human papillomavirus (HPV). What is HPV immunisation and why do you need it?