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

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

5 May 2021: Immunisation update - Great start to the influenza campaign, Protecting against measles during the COVID-19 roll-out, Updated vaccinator training and processes

4 February 2021: Influenza 2021, Measles Immunisation Campaign, Boostrix at ages 45 and 65, Authorised Vaccinators, Handbook corrections (Word, 245 KB)

18 November 2020: Childhood immunisation rates, planning for COVID-19 immunisation, National Immunisation Solution, Pharmacist administration of HPV and MMR vaccine, Measles immunisation campaign, MenACWY and Zoster catch up (Word, 242 KB)

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