COVID-19: The vaccine rollout

Find out about New Zealand's COVID-19 vaccine plan. Who can get a vaccine, when you can get it, and how to book a vaccine appointment.

Last updated: 30 June 2021

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Everyone in New Zealand can get a free vaccine

We’ve secured enough Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) for everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over to get the two doses they need against COVID-19. We’re also buying vaccines for those in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Sāmoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.

It will not be mandatory for the general public. You can choose whether to get vaccinated.

Under 16 years old

If you’re under the age of 16 you’re not able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at this stage.

30 June 2021: Medsafe has given provisional approval of the Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) for young people aged 12 to 15 years. Cabinet is waiting on guidance about when and how to use the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12 to 15 year olds within the vaccine rollout. Until then, people aged 12 to 15 cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine. It will not be mandatory for young people to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines are being thoroughly tested in children under 16 years before they’re approved for this group. We can’t assume the vaccines will act the same way in children as they do in adults.

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the regulatory authorities in the USA and in Canada for teenagers aged 12 to 15 years.

Unwell or have a fever

If you’re unwell on the day of your vaccination or have a fever over 38°C it’s important to delay your COVID-19 vaccine until you’re feeling better.

May have or had COVID-19

If you’re waiting for a COVID-19 test result, you should wait until you get a negative result or have met the criteria to stop isolating before you get vaccinated. 

Self-isolation, managed isolation or quarantine

If you’ve had COVID-19

You should have the COVID-19 vaccine even if you’ve had COVID-19 (with or without symptoms). We recommend you wait at least 4 weeks after you recover before getting the vaccine.

Had an allergic reaction to any vaccine

If you’ve had a serious or immediate allergic reaction to any vaccine or injection in the past, discuss this with your vaccinator.

If you have a history of anaphylaxis

You shouldn’t get the Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) if you have a history of anaphylaxis:

  • to any ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine
  • to a previous dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

What’s in the Pfizer vaccine

When you can get a vaccine

When you can get a vaccine depends on your age and situation. Different regions will also start at different times.

Once it’s your turn, you can be vaccinated at any time – there’s no cut off.

You can use the Unite against COVID-19 tool to find out what group you're probably in and when you can get a vaccine.

Find out when you can get a vaccine – Unite against COVID-19 tool

The rollout at a glance

From February From March From May From 28 July

Group 1 –
Border and MIQ workers and the people they live with

Group 2 –
High-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places

Group 3 –
People aged 65 and over, and those who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19

Group 4 –
General population – aged 16 years and over

Underway Underway Underway – expect an invitation from your DHB by the end of July From 28 July, starting with people aged 60 years and over

When will I get my COVID-19 vaccine? (PDF, 278 KB)


Vaccine appointments

When and how you get a vaccination appointment will depend on which vaccine rollout group you're in and what district health board (DHB) provides services in your area. 

Visit Unite against COVID-19 for more information on vaccination appointments. 

How to book your vaccination appointments – Unite against COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccine rollout information by DHB – Unite against COVID-19

Which vaccine you’ll be given

Pfizer/BioNTech is New Zealand’s primary vaccine provider. The Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) is currently the only vaccine provisionally approved to use in New Zealand. You can’t choose what type of COVID-19 vaccine you’ll get.

Your vaccine is given by trained, authorised vaccinators or qualified medical staff.

How the vaccine works

New Zealand's COVID-19 vaccine plan

We have a plan to provide a free vaccine to protect everyone in Aotearoa. Our plan is to:

  • put safety first with all COVID-19 vaccines
  • secure enough safe and effective vaccines to protect Aotearoa and the Pacific
  • protect Māori, Pacific peoples, and other groups at greater risk of COVID-19
  • make it easy for people to get vaccinated
  • ensure we are prepared for future outbreaks
  • support New Zealand’s contribution to global wellbeing.
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