Further support for Group 3 vaccination appointments

Media release

23 July 2021

An 0800 number will be launched today, allowing people in group 3 who haven’t yet received an invitation to have their COVID-19 vaccination to make an appointment.

Jo Gibbs, National Director of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme, says the 0800 number will provide booking support and vaccination information. Advisors will also answer clinical questions.

She says district health boards are making good progress in sending out invitations to people in group 3.

“They’ve been contacting people by email, text, phone call and through the post.

“We do recognise though that there are some people who haven’t yet heard from us, and there are a number of reasons for this.

“If you’re not enrolled with a health provider or have not updated your contact details, or have outdated patient records, then we may not have been able to contact you.

“This new number means that if you’re 65 or over, have an underlying health condition, if you’re disabled, caring for someone who is disabled, or if you’re pregnant, you’re definitely in group 3 and can book your vaccination from today by calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26.

“There’s a team of more than 1,300 advisors, working in shifts, ready to take calls. They are supported by paramedics and nurses who can answer any clinical questions.

“They’ll be happy to help with translation services if you need them – they have access to more than 150 languages.”

The COVID Vaccination Healthline is open between 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week. More than 650 team members will be rostered throughout the day, working in shifts.

Jo Gibbs says the Healthline teams work across the country, within communities. Some work from their homes, and others are based in contact centres in Kaikohe, Kaitaia, Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hastings, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch.

“We want everyone in group 3 to have an opportunity to book their vaccine appointment before we open bookings to the 60-plus age band on July 28,” she says. “That’s also when the online booking tool, Book My Vaccine, will be available.”

COVID Vaccination Healthline

  • Between now and Christmas, based on the national vaccination rollout plan, the COVID Vaccination Healthline is expecting to speak to more than 2.5 million New Zealanders
  • The COVID Vaccination Healthline has been built off the foundation of Healthline; a trusted service that New Zealanders have been using for 20 years.
  • Healthline is internationally recognised for its clinical quality and care.
  • To get everyone on board and ready the COVID Vaccination Healthline team has:
    • Completed more than 4,500 recruitment interviews
    • Delivered 31,200 hours of training
    • Configured and deployed 1,000 desktops.
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