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

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

14 September 2021: Immunisation update - Online CPR training, Childhood immunisations and wearing PPE in Alert Level 4, Administering immunisations in carparks, Updated HepB consent form

27 August 2021: Childhood immunisations and PPE

10 August 2021: Immunisation update - Maintaining and catching up on childhood immunisations, HPV recalls, Provisional vaccinator authorisation, Making sure everyone who needs an influenza vaccine can have one, Reimbursement arrangements extended for employee influenza vaccinations

8 July 2021: Immunisation update - Meningococcal B vaccine funded for close contacts, COVID-19 cold chain, Influenza campaign updates, Childhood immunisation data – impact of 2020 schedule changes, Helping protect our Pacific neighbours from COVID-19

4 June 2021: Immunisation update - Influenza vaccines, Administering the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines, Protecting health workers from flu – funding and reimbursements, National Immunisations Register entries by pharmacies, and more

View all immunisation updates

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