The New Zealand Government will provide free COVID-19 vaccination for all New Zealanders aged 16 and older. People at greater risk are being offered the vaccine first.

Roll-out progress

Based on Ministry of Health data, this information is updated each Wednesday.

People vaccinated (as at 20 July 2021)

  • Nelson Marlborough region:
    • First dose: 39,028
    • Second dose: 29,339
    • Total doses: 68,367
  • New Zealand:
    • First dose: 924,776
    • Second dose: 628,259
    • Total doses: 1,553,035
  • Worldwide:
    • Total doses: 3.43 billion

Weekly doses to 20 July

About the vaccine roll-out

Total doses

As at 20 July, 68,367 doses of the free Pfizer vaccine have been provided to Group 1, 2 and 3 members. 

We are currently achieving 157% of our target as reported on the Ministry of Health website. 

Until late July we will continue to focus our efforts on these groups. Near the end of July, vaccinations will be offered to everyone else in New Zealand aged 16 and over. We are currently providing approximately 4,500 vaccines a week and plan to gradually increase this to the point we are offering approximately 12,500 a week from late August onwards.

What to do if you are in Groups 1, 2 and 3

If you’re in Groups 1, 2 and 3 and haven’t booked your vaccination, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days) to book.

A carer or relative can book a vaccination on your behalf. Translation services are available if you need them.

What to expect when you call

If the COVID Vaccination Healthline is busy when you call, you will be given an estimate of how long the wait time will be. Then you can choose to wait for an operator or call back at a more convenient time if you prefer.

Booking your vaccination over the phone will take around 15 minutes.

When you call, it’s a good idea to have your NHI (National Health Index) number ready to make the booking process quicker. You’ll find your NHI number on a prescription or prescription receipt, x-ray or test result, or a letter from the hospital.

What to do if you are in Group 4

From 28 July people in Group 4 will be invited to book directly via the national online booking system ‘Book My Vaccine’ or a by calling a national 0800 number. 

The Group 4 roll-out is phased by age bands, starting with those who are over 60 years old, but everyone in Group 4 can register their details with ‘Book My Vaccine’ from 28 July. Once bookings are open for your age group you will be contacted to let you know it’s your turn to book. People in Groups 1, 2 and 3 can also use the national booking system also if they still haven’t had their vaccine by then.

There will be advertising at both a national and local level to help make these national booking system contact details known. Locally, we will still retain our booking centre teams to support the national systems. We will also continue to contact people directly using contact details held by their GP – by text messaging, phone calls to landlines, email and letters.

Getting the vaccine

How to find out which group you are in

Click here to use this simple tool to find out when you can get your free COVID-19 vaccine

Your result will tell you which group you’re probably in — Group 1, 2, 3, or 4 — depending on your age and situation. 

You could also work out what group you are in by looking at this diagram.

Applying for an early vaccine

If you need to travel outside of New Zealand, you can apply for an early COVID-19 vaccine on compassionate grounds or for reasons of national significance. Find out more about the criteria you will need to meet and how to apply.

 

Timing of the vaccination rollout for different groups

Group 1 — now onwards
Border and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers. Learn more about Group 1.

If you are in Group 1, you will be contacted by your employer, GP or health professional to make an appointment.

If you’re in Group 1 and haven’t yet been contacted, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days) to book you vaccination.

Group 2 —  now onwards
High-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places. Learn more about Group 2.

If you are in Group 2, you will be contacted by your employer, GP or health professional to make an appointment. 

If you’re in Group 2 and haven’t yet been contacted, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days) to book you vaccination.

Group 3 — now onwards
People who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. Learn more about Group 3.

If you’re in Group 3 and haven’t booked your vaccination, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days) to book. 

A carer or relative can book a vaccination on your behalf. Translation services are available if you need them.

What to expect when you call

If the COVID Vaccination Healthline is busy when you call, you will be given an estimate of how long the wait time will be. Then you can choose to wait for an operator or call back at a more convenient time if you prefer.

Booking your vaccination over the phone will take around 15 minutes.

When you call, it’s a good idea to have your NHI (National Health Index) number ready to make the booking process quicker. You’ll find your NHI number on a prescription or prescription receipt, x-ray or test result, or a letter from the hospital.

Group 4 — from 28 July

Group 4 is everyone has not yet been vaccinated who is eligible for vaccination. Learn more about Group 4.

From this point, vaccination will still be available to people in Groups 1, 2 and 3 (as well as Group 4). There is no cut-off point.

If you are in Group 4, you’ll be offered your opportunity to be vaccinated based on age bands –  starting with older people. This is because the risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 can increase with age. 

The first age band is people aged 60 plus and everyone else will follow in age bands through until the end of 2021. Everybody 65 and over, with underlying health conditions or a disability is already able to be vaccinated as part of Group 3.

When your age band comes up, you will get an invitation to book your vaccination using Book My Vaccine (the new national booking system), or by phoning the national vaccination booking 0800 number. 

People waiting for their age band to start will be able to register their details on Book My Vaccine from 28 July. Once bookings are open for your age group you will be contacted directly, using the contact details you provided when you registered, to let you know it’s your turn to book. Book My Vaccine and the 0800 number will be ready to use from 28 July and the exact details will be widely advertised.

Timing for age bands: 

  • 28 July: Vaccinations open for people aged 60+
  • 11 August: Vaccinations open for people aged 55+
  • Mid to late-August: Vaccinations should open for people aged 45+
  • Mid to late-September: Vaccinations should open for people aged 35+
  • October: Vaccinations should open for people aged 16+

Vaccination is currently available at the following locations:

Nelson and Tasman

  • Nelson vaccination centre, 16 Paru Paru Rd
  • Richmond vaccination centre, 253 Queen St

Golden Bay: 2032 Takaka Valley Highway

Marlborough: Blenheim vaccination centre, Unit 3, 19 Henry St

By outreach service: Outreach services are where 'pop-up' vaccination clinics are set up temporarily in locations such as aged residential care facilities, marae, medical centres (GP clinics) and community centres. Regular outreach clinics are also provided for rural or more remote regions.

 

More options will be available from late July

We are currently providing approximately 4,500 vaccines a week. We plan to gradually increase this to the point where we are offering approximately 12,500 a week from late August onwards. Vaccination will be available via the locations and outreach clinics described above, but on a larger scale (for example, the clinics will be open 7 days a week).

In addition, some GPs (at medical centres) and community pharmacies will start to offer vaccination, from 28 July.

Should I get my flu shot first or my COVID-19 vaccine? 

Get your COVID-19 vaccine first if you already have an appointment booked, otherwise get your flu shot first. Leave a gap of two weeks between the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine.

About the flu vaccine

The 2021 flu vaccine is also currently available from your GP, medical centre nurse, Māori health provider and participating pharmacies. 

The flu vaccine is free for:

  • people aged 65+ 
  • pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
  • children aged 4 years or under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness
  • people under 65 years with any of the medical conditions listed on this webpage

For further information go to the Health Navigator website, talk to your GP or phone 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)

The Ministry of Health recommends a two-week gap between getting your flu vaccine and your COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

About the Pfizer vaccine

The Pfizer vaccine has been thoroughly assessed for safety by our own Medsafe experts.

Medsafe is New Zealand’s medicines safety authority. Medsafe only grants consent for a vaccine to be used in Aotearoa New Zealand once they’re satisfied it has met strict standards for safety, efficacy and quality. This is the same process used to assess other medicines, like the flu vaccine.

The approval process is strict. There have been no shortcuts taken in granting approval for the Pfizer vaccine.

It’s already been used successfully all around the world by millions of people, and by hundreds of thousands here in New Zealand. The vaccine continues to be monitored closely for safety.

Read more about who decides if a vaccine can be used.

Video: How was the vaccine developed so quickly?

There’s never been so much global collaboration amongst scientists and governments in a vaccine's development.

In this video, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield explains how the COVID-19 vaccines, including the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine being offered to New Zealanders, were developed so quickly compared to other vaccines.

 

How does the vaccine work?

The Pfizer vaccine is an mRNA-based (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccine, and is given in two doses about three weeks apart.

The vaccine works like other vaccines. It teaches the immune system to recognise and fight the virus.

It can’t give you the disease because it does not contain the virus, or a dead or inactivated virus, or anything that can affect our DNA. The vaccine is gone completely from your body within a few days, leaving your immune system ready for action if COVID-19 comes near you.

Watch a 30-second video about how the vaccine works here.

The Ministry of Health website has more information about:

  • how the vaccine works
  • how the vaccine is given
  • why you need two doses 
  • new strains of the virus
  • vaccine ingredients

Side effects of COVID-19 vaccines

Like all medicines, COVID-19 vaccines may cause side effects in some people. This is the body’s normal response and shows the vaccine is working.

The most common reported reactions of the Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine are:

  • pain at the injection site
  • a headache
  • feeling tired or fatigued
  • muscle aches
  • feeling generally unwell
  • chills
  • fever
  • joint pain
  • nausea.

These are usually mild and won't stop you from having the second dose or going about your daily life. 

Find out about side effects and what to do if you experience them.

Safety monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines and reporting of side effects

The safety of all medicines approved for use in New Zealand is checked by the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe). Medsafe will continually review any COVID-19 vaccines being used and take appropriate action if any risks are identified.

Read more about how vaccine safety is monitored and how side effects are reported.