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COVID-19

Last updated: 12.30pm, Tuesday 16 November 2021

Parts of Waikato will move to Alert Level 2 at 11:59pm on Tuesday 16 November.

Auckland remains at Alert Level 3 Step 2. The rest of New Zealand is at Alert Level 2.


COVID-19 vaccination information

The national COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is happening in stages and each district health board (DHB) is managing the programme in its rohe. You can get vaccinated at any Alert Level. The vaccine is free and is available to everyone aged 12 or over, no-one has to miss out. The aim is to have most of the population vaccinated by the end of 2021.

Where can I get my vaccine?

To find your nearest vaccination centres, including Kaupapa Māori Centres, go to https://karawhiua.nz/all-clinics/

When can I get my vaccine?

From 1 September, everybody aged 12 and over can now book their COVID-19 vaccine. If you are in Groups 1, 2, or 3 that were eligible for vaccination earlier in the year, don’t worry there’s no cut-off – you can book a vaccination at any time.

How do I book a vaccination for myself and/or my whānau?

  • Māori and Pacific families can be vaccinated together. To make a whānau booking you’ll need to call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
  • The MIHI Maori Mobile Vaccine Clinic is a collaboration between the Māori/Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI), University of Otago, Christchurch, Mana Whenua Ki Waitaha and the Canterbury District Health Board. This is a service tailored to support Māori households with the kaupapa of manaakitanga hosted within marae and local Māori community venues. To make a booking for you and your whānau, please ring 0800 MIHI 4U (0800 644 448), Monday – Friday.
  • If you’d like to book your vaccine online, visit https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/
  • If you’d like more information about how you can book an appointment, go to www.BookMyVaccine.nz.

Locations of interest

For an up-to-date list of all the locations, visit: https://www.health.govt.nz/…/covid-19-contact-tracing…
If you’ve been at a location of interest, you need to self-isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. This is free and you can call any time, it is open all day every day.

Where can I get a Covid-19 Test?

For up-to-date info on all testing locations, visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/
Please get tested if you are a contact, have visited a location of interest at the specific date(s) and time(s), or have cold and flu symptoms. Tests are free.

How do I find trustworthy information about the Covid-19 vaccination?

For information on how to know if what you are reading is reliable and where to find the facts, find out more here

Support service providers for whānau

We have compiled a list of Ngāi Tahu affiliated support service providers and mental health support services during COVID-19. Find out more here


Regional Information

Please refer to the region in which you live for the information most relevant to you and your whānau. Each district health board (DHB) across the country is managing the programme in its rohe, so the information can differ from region to region.

North Island
South Island

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need to wear a face covering?

Alert Level 1 and 2
You legally must wear a face covering when on public transport and on flights. We encourage you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distance from others, for example in crowded indoor places.

Alert Level 3 and 4
You legally must wear a face covering when:

  • on public transport and at arrival and departure points, for example airports, train stations and bus stops
  • on flights
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • visiting a healthcare facility
  • visiting an aged care facility
  • you are a customer or client in a business or service operating at these levels, for example supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations
  • visiting the public areas within courts and tribunals, local and central government agencies, and social service providers with customer service counters.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you are:

  • under the age of 12
  • have a physical or mental illness
  • have conditions or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable.

Remember to carry your face covering exemption paperwork with you when visiting an essential business or service.

What COVID-19 vaccines are available in Aotearoa?

Government has secured enough supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for everyone in Aotearoa (and our Pacific Island neighbours) aged 16 and over who wishes to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health recently announced that Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the single dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for individuals aged 18 years of age and older. Medsafe’s provisional approval is the first step, there is further consideration required by Cabinet on options for the use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand.

There is enough Pfizer vaccine to ensure total coverage of Aotearoa, the Janssen vaccine is an additional layer of vaccine coverage, not a replacement. Delivery of the Janssen vaccine is unlikely to be before the last quarter of 2021.

We will update this page as more information becomes available.

How is the vaccine given? How many doses of the vaccine do I need?

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is given as an injection into the muscle of your upper arm. Staff will observe you for at least 20 minutes after your injection.

You will need two doses of this vaccine to be protected against COVID-19. The second dose is given at least three weeks later. It is important you receive both doses as the first dose will give you up to 50-60% protection and the second dose brings your level of protection up to 90-95%.

Who can get vaccinated?

Everyone aged 12 years and older in Aotearoa can be vaccinated. If you have any serious health conditions, please check with your whānau GP first.

Does the vaccine cost anything?

Kāo. The COVID-19 vaccine is free  in Aotearoa. You will not be asked to pay for the vaccine, and you will not be asked to pay for an appointment to get it.

How does the vaccine work?

The COVID-19 vaccine, like all vaccines, protects your health by working with your body’s natural defences. It teaches your body to recognise the virus so it can respond and protect you against it.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will not give you COVID-19. It does not contain any live, dead, or deactivated viruses. It works by triggering your immune system to produce antibodies and blood cells that work against the COVID-19 virus.

Does the vaccine contain the COVID-19 virus? What is in it?

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine does not contain any live, dead, or deactivated viruses. There are no animal products in it. It is a mRNA-based (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccine, and the active ingredient is 30µg of a nucleoside modified messenger RNA encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. Click here to find out what this means in plain language.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Like all medicines, the vaccine may cause side effects in some people. These are common, are usually mild and do not last long. They may be more common after your second dose. They are the body’s normal response and shows the vaccine is working.

With the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the most common reported reactions 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 shouldn’t stop you from having the second dose or going about your daily life.

Will the vaccine be effective against new strains of the virus?

The Ministry of Health is looking at information from other countries about how any new COVID-19 strains may impact how the vaccine works. There is the likelihood that the vaccine will require changes over the years, in the same way the influenza vaccine changes each year.

Sources: United Against COVID-19 website and the Ministry of Health website