COVID-19: Supporting the vaccine rollout

We're planning the infrastructure, logistics, training and technology to support New Zealand’s largest immunisation programme.

Last updated: 24 August 2021

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Vaccine strategy

New Zealand’s COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy uses expertise from across the government. It sets the steps we must take so we have the infrastructure, regulations and relationships in place for COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccine strategy
New Zealand’s elimination strategy
COVID-19 Communications and engagement approach (PDF, 4.55MB)


Immunisation programme

Vaccines will be rolled out through a COVID-19 Immunisation Programme. This will be New Zealand’s largest immunisation rollout ever. We’ve never attempted an immunisation programme of this scale, cost or complexity.

Our vaccine rollout plan


Accessing the vaccine

We’re committed to putting in place the right systems and services, so it’s easy and convenient for everyone aged 12 and over to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

We aren’t offering the Pfizer vaccine to those under the age of 12.

We’re working with organisations across the health and disability system to make it easy for New Zealanders to be vaccinated and ensure people are well informed and supported when accessing a vaccine.

The vaccine rollout


Ensuring equal access

Ensuring equal access to free COVID-19 vaccines is a priority for New Zealand.

The Government is committed to upholding and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including obligations towards Māori that flow from the Treaty partnership. We have a strong focus on:

  • partnership
  • tino rangatiratanga
  • options
  • equity
  • active protection.

Working with our partners

We’re working closely with higher risk communities, Māori and our Pacific neighbours to ensure we’re providing equal and fair access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Who we’re working with


Scaling up the workforce

Outside our regular vaccination workforce of general practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists – we’re planning for an extra 1,600 full-time equivalent vaccinators. They’ll be trained and available when needed throughout New Zealand.

The workforce will continue to scale up during 2021 in line with vaccine delivery schedules.

How we're expanding the vaccinator workforce


Workplace vaccinations

Vaccinations will be offered in eligible workplaces as part of the Group 4 (general population) rollout.

The Temporary Workplace Sites Planning Blueprint outlines the criteria needed to be an eligible workplace, and what planning workplaces will need to consider before rolling out on-site vaccination.

COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Blueprint: Temporary Workplace Sites (PDF, 1.43 MB)
COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Blueprint: Temporary Workplace Sites (Word, 4.21 MB)

Expressions of interest for becoming a workplace vaccination site as part of the Group 4 (wider population) rollout have now closed.

Workplaces/providers that have expressed an interest will be contacted directly by the Ministry of Health after the responses to the EOI have been reviewed.

If you have any queries about workplace vaccinations, please email [email protected]


Infrastructure and logistics

Over $66 million has been allocated to support the roll out of the vaccine. Most of this investment is to pay for enough supplies to vaccinate our entire population and support our Pacific Realm countries.

Medical supplies

This includes, for example, personal protective equipment (PPE), needles, syringes and swabs.

Freezer storage and distribution

We’ve purchased nine large -80°C freezers that can store more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine. These will become our central storage facility for the vaccine that requires ultra-low temperatures (the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine).

We plan to distribute vaccines from our central storage facilities in a very controlled way to our cold chain network nationwide.

Work is underway to assess what expansion is needed to our cold chain nationwide to make sure we’re ready to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Some vaccines can be stored for up to five days in normal cold chain fridges in temperatures from 2-8°C.


Technology and systems

Immunisation register

The National Immunisation Register (NIR) hold records for all immunisations given to children in New Zealand, as well as some adults. We’re developing a replacement NIR system – the National Immunisation Solution (NIS).

NIS will allow health workers to record vaccinations anywhere, anytime. The public will be able to digitally access their own immunisation records.

The first iteration of the system will be available to fully support a COVID-19 vaccine rollout and additional functionality will be added through further iterations.

Inventory management system

We’re developing an inventory management system for COVID-19 vaccines. This will hold information about where the vaccines are located, as well as volumes and temperature.

The system will help us track and trace COVID-19 vaccines and consumables, including their expiry dates to minimise wastage.

In this section

  • $1 million in funding is available to support local communication initiatives that will increase access, uptake, and support of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in ethnic communities. We’re inviting eligible community organisations to submit applications for funding of up to $50,000.   Read more
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