Immunisation can protect people against harmful infections, which can cause serious complications, including death. It is one of the most effective, and cost-effective medical interventions to prevent disease.

Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism, the immune response, to build resistance to specific infections. When an immunised person comes in contact with that disease in the future, their immune system will respond to prevent them developing the disease.

A selection of the vaccines which can prevent these diseases are included in the National Immunisation Schedule.

Common side-effects of immunisation are redness and soreness at the site of injections and mild fever. While these symptoms may be upsetting at the time, the benefit is protection from the disease. More serious reactions to immunisation are very rare.

In response to COVID-19, the Ministry has expanded access to vaccinator training and made some changes to the way vaccinators are regulated and vaccines are administered.  For more details see Changes to Vaccinator Training and Processes in Response to COVID-19 (PDF, 117 KB).

Latest updates

30 September 2020: National Immunisation Schedule Change, Medtech PMS, New Handbook, ADT Booster, new resources, Impact of COVID-19, meningococcal vaccine (Word, 249 KB)

31 August 2020: Influenza vaccine expiry, National Immunisation Schedule Change, Handbook, New resources, Reporting and Qlik access, Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan (Word, 237 KB)

23 July 2020: Campaign to improve measles immunity, Timely childhood immunisation, Influenza, Pneumovax23, National Immunisation Schedule Change 1 July 2020 (Word, 230 KB)

View all immunisation updates

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