COVID-19: Vaccine boosters

If you completed your primary COVID-19 vaccination course at least four months ago, and you're aged 18 or over, you are eligible for a booster.

Last updated: 25 January 2022

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Benefits of a booster

The booster rollout has been accelerated as one of several measures to protect everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand against new variants of COVID-19. Anyone aged 18 or older who has had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago is urged to get their free booster vaccine to help protect themselves, their whānau, and the wider community

While two doses are likely to provide a good degree of protection against severe disease from Delta and Omicron COVID-19 variants for some time, a booster dose is likely to offer greater protection.

Current evidence shows your protection against infection after the primary vaccination course decreases over time. Giving a ‘top up’ vaccine after a primary course helps boost your immunity against COVID-19.

How to get booster

If you completed your primary COVID-19 vaccination course at least four months ago, and you're aged 18 or over, you are eligible for a booster. For most people a primary course is two doses.

You can check when your last vaccination was by logging into My Covid Record or checking your purple COVID-19 Vaccine Record Card if you have one.

The Pfizer vaccine is the preferred vaccine being used in New Zealand for booster doses, even if you had a different COVID-19 vaccine for earlier doses.

You can get a booster dose the same way you got your previous COVID-19 vaccinations – including walk-in sites and drive-throughs. Check Healthpoint for available walk-in sites.

If it's been less than 4 months since your second dose you can still book ahead to ensure you get the date and time you prefer.

You can book an appointment for a booster dose through Book My Vaccine or by calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week). We'll make the booking for you and answer any questions. Interpretation services are available if you need them.

The Pfizer booster – everything you need to know (PDF, 669 KB)

Overseas vaccinations

If you were vaccinated overseas, you can get a Pfizer booster 4 months after you completed your primary course. The Pfizer vaccine is the recommended booster dose regardless of what vaccine was used for earlier doses.

Severely immunocompromised people

People eligible for a third primary dose can currently access a booster fourth dose 4 months after receiving their third primary dose.

Information for severely immunocompromised people

My Vaccine Pass and International Travel Vaccination Certificates

You don't need to have a booster dose to be ‘fully vaccinated’ to get a My Vaccine Pass or an International Travel Vaccination Certificate.

However, if you do get a booster dose, it will be added to My Covid Record, and you can create another pass or International Travel Vaccination Certificate if you want to.

My Covid Record


Side effects of boosters

You may experience some side effects, similar to those you might’ve had after the first or second dose, such as muscle aches, pain at the injection site or headaches.

For most people these are mild effects. They are a sign your body’s immune system is learning to fight the virus. They don’t last long and for many people do not impact on day-to-day activities.

Rare side effects of the Pfizer vaccine


Mandatory booster vaccinations

On 21 December 2021 it was announced that COVID-19 booster vaccinations would be mandated for workforces covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (Vaccinations Order). This came into effect on the 23 January 2022. 

There are different mandated dates for when booster vaccinations are required for the workforces covered by the Vaccinations Order.

  • Border and MIQ workforces, if eligible for a booster, are required to have this by 15 February 2022 
  • Health and Disability workforces, if eligible for a booster, are required to have this by 15 February 2022 
  • Education, Corrections, Police, Defence, and Fire and Emergency workforces, if eligible for a booster, are required to have this by 1 March 2022.

Mandatory vaccinations

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