Our vaccine rollout plan aims to protect Aotearoa. Everyone in the country aged 16 and over, falls into one of four groups. Find out when you may get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last updated: 7 April 2021
On this page:
- New Zealand's COVID-19 vaccine plan
- Find out what group you're in
- 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 who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19
- Group 4 – General population
- Where vaccinations will happen
- COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan (PDF, 181 KB)
- COVID-19 vaccine – estimated volumes and timing of vaccine rollout (PDF, 435 KB)
- COVID-19 vaccine – protecting Aotearoa (PDF, 403 KB)
We have a plan to provide a free vaccine to protect everyone in Aotearoa. We’ve secured enough Pfizer vaccine for everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over to get the two doses they need against COVID-19.
First, we’re protecting those most at risk of catching COVID-19 in their workplace. This will reduce the risk of future outbreaks and lockdowns. Next, we’ll vaccinate people most at risk of getting seriously sick or dying if they get the virus.
New Zealand’s vaccine 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.
The rollout at a glance
We're rolling out the vaccine in stages. We’ve created four groups that everyone in the country aged 16 and over will fall under.
|From February||From March||From May||From July|
|Underway and on track||Underway||You don't need to do anything just yet||You don't need to do anything just yet|
Dates and timings may change
Time frames are approximate and may overlap. The actual start dates will depend on when vaccines are delivered and whether there is community transmission at the time.
Our vaccination dashboard shows a snapshot of our vaccination progress. You can see the number of people who have received their vaccination in New Zealand so far.
What group you're in depends on your age and situation. 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.
Getting an early vaccination
At this stage, you can only apply for an early COVID-19 vaccine if you have an urgent need to travel outside of New Zealand. This is only for compassionate reasons or those of national significance. You'll need to meet specific criteria.
Start date: February 2021
How many people this includes: around 50,000 people
Border and MIQ workers
This group have mandatory COVID-19 testing as part of their work. They’re most at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Protecting them first and the people they live with may reduce the risk of transmission in the community.
- nurses who undertake health checks in MIQ
- security staff
- customs and border officials
- hotel workers
- defence force staff who work at Managed Isolation
- airline staff
- port authorities
People living with border and MIQ workers (household contacts)
This includes anyone who lives with a border or MIQ worker. You don’t have to be related and can live with them part-time.
This also covers papakāinga and other shared communal living arrangements.
Start date: March 2021
How many people this includes: around 480,000 people
High-risk frontline healthcare workers
High-risk frontline healthcare workers are those most likely to contract or spread COVID-19 through their interactions with patients, potential COVID-19 cases or potential COVID-19 samples.
- COVID-19 testing and vaccination services
- contact tracing
- ambulance services
- urgent care clinics
- accident and emergency departments
- primary care
- community mental health and addictions services
- inpatient, ambulatory, outpatient hospital-based publicly funded services
- community and home-based healthcare services, including those provided by NGOs or iwi
- hospital and community diagnostics – eg radiology, laboratories
- mother and child well-being services (community maternity and Well Child/Tamariki Ora)
- community public health teams, including outreach immunisation services
- home care support, including aged care and disability support services
- hospice care
- DHB COVID-19 incident management teams
- health students working on clinical placements.
It also includes staff who are not registered health professionals, but have contact with patients such as receptionists and security staff.
People living in high-risk places
This group live in community environments where there's a higher risk of COVID-19 spreading. If this happens many residents could get very sick or die.
- people living in long-term residential care homes, eg aged residential care and disability residential support services
- people working in long-term residential care homes
- older Māori and Pacific people cared for by their whānau
- the people living with and caring for older Māori and Pacific people.
People living in the Counties Manukau DHB area who are at higher risk
There are many border operations and MIQ facilities in the Counties Manukau DHB area. We need to protect those living there who are at the greatest risk of getting sick or dying from COVID-19.
This includes people in one or more of the following groups:
- people aged 65 or older
- disabled people
- pregnant people (any trimester)
- have a relevant underlying health condition.
Estimated start date: May 2021
How many people this includes: around 1.7 million people
People living in the rest of New Zealand who are at higher risk
We need to protect older people, those with certain underlying health conditions and disabilities who are more likely to get very sick if they catch COVID-19.
This includes people who fall within one or more of the following groups:
- people aged 65 or older
- disabled people
- pregnant people (any trimester)
- have a relevant underlying health condition
- people living in custodial settings.
At this stage, underlying health conditions include:
- serious and chronic respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- chronic kidney/renal disease
- coronary heart conditions
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- cancer, excluding basal and squamous skin cancers if not invasive.
We'll update this list as we review the latest evidence on which underlying health conditions could put people at a greater risk of getting very sick or dying if they catch COVID-19.
People living in custody
This group includes everyone in New Zealand who is an adult living in custodial settings, eg people in prison.
International evidence has shown that COVID-19 can spread quickly amongst people in custody.
Estimated start date: July 2021
How many people this includes: around 2 million people
The remaining general population aged 16 and over will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine in the second half of 2021.
Vaccines will be available in a range of locations. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to access COVID-19 vaccines.
Some groups will get their vaccine at or near their workplace or care facility, eg frontline healthcare workers, and people living and working in long-term residential care homes.
Vaccine locations for the general public
These may include:
- Māori and Pacific providers
- pop-up centres
- medical and hauora centres
- community clinics.
District health boards (DHBs) will confirm vaccination sites closer to the time. All providers will have vaccinators who are trained to give the COVID-19 vaccine and work with the administrative systems.