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, 454 KB).

Latest updates

11 August 2022: Immunisation Update – Influenza vaccination update, COVID-19 vaccination update, MMR and HPV vaccine update, Aotearoa Immunisation Register

19 May 2022: Immunisation Update – Flu 2022 programme underway, Applications for pharmacists to administer flu vaccination to people aged 3 and older, Yellow fever vaccinator training now available, COVID-19 vaccine updates, MMR and other childhood immunisations, HPV recalls, National Immunisation Solution update

31 March 2022: Immunisation Update – Influenza 2022, COVID-19, Catch up on other vaccine preventable diseases, Hui, Enrolled nurses as full vaccinator, Good news and bright ideas.

21 February 2022: Immunisation Update – COVID-19 vaccine roll out for 5-11 year olds, Crucial – right vaccine, right age group, COVID-19 boosters, Temporary Medical Exemptions, Measles campaign restart, Influenza 2022, Update on yellow fever authorisation renewal requirements, Provisional Vaccinator Course Reopens, Good news and Bright ideas.

13 December 2021Immunisation Update - Measles campaign restart, MMR Data Collection, Measles and Childhood Immunisation Hui, Close of Provisional Vaccinator Foundation Course, Influenza vaccine refund

14 October 2021: Immunisation Update - Concomitant administration of vaccines, Vaccinator Assessment, Māori Influenza and Measles Vaccination Programme (MIMVP), Reminder about the 2020 childhood immunisation schedule change

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