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: 21 January 2022

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Getting a 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)

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

Who needs a booster

Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 18 and over who completed their primary vaccination course at least 4 months ago is already eligible for a booster vaccine.

Health care and border workers are a priority for booster vaccine doses as they are at the front line of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and because large numbers of health care and border workers completed their primary vaccination course early in the vaccine rollout. We are also making sure older people and kaumatua, including people in residential care, have good access to booster doses.

Currently, booster doses are not required for workers or to get a My Vaccine Pass used to access events, gyms, churches, hairdressers and other services and premises.

Note: For workers covered by the Mandatory Vaccinations Order, we expect changes to be confirmed in January 2022 about mandatory boosters. We will update our guidance for all workers that are covered by these changes once more information is available.

Getting proof of vaccination status

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

Effectiveness of boosters

Pfizer has released preliminary trial data indicating that a booster dose showed a relative vaccine efficacy of 95.6 percent against symptomatic disease (predominantly Delta-variant), when compared to those who did not receive a booster (only received two primary doses).

Data is emerging that a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides better protection than a two-dose course against the Omicron variant. While two doses provide some degree of protection against severe disease from Omicron, a booster is likely to offer greater protection against transmitting COVID-19 to others and reduce the chance of more serious infections.

At this stage, there is no data available on duration of protection against infection and disease following a booster dose. Health officials and the COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group will continue to review information as it becomes available.

Side effects of boosters

The common mild and transient side effects after booster doses are comparable to those from primary vaccine doses. This includes pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, headache, nausea and feeling tired or fatigued.

Vaccine side effects and reactions

Boosters use the same Pfizer vaccine that was used for the first two doses in New Zealand’s vaccination rollout.

How the Pfizer vaccine works

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