COVID-19 Vaccine

February 12, 2021

The New Zealand government has formally approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in New Zealand and endorsed the COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group’s ‘decision to use’ recommendations.

The recommendations are, that:

  • the vaccine is suitable for use in New Zealand for people 16 years of age and over
  • vaccine use for people under 16 may be reconsidered when more clinical data is available.
  • information will be provided around expected common side effects, for example fever, muscle pain and fatigue.
  • a 30-minute observation period is required after the vaccine has been administered.
  • patients receiving specific therapies, including Keytruda, Opdivo, Yervoy and Tecentriq should not receive the vaccine.
  • pregnant women are advised to discuss the risks and benefit of receiving the vaccine with their doctor.
  • the vaccine is suitable for use in lactating women.

New Zealand’s COVID-19 vaccine information campaign will start next week. Work is underway to develop a comprehensive new National Immunisation Solution (NIS).

The NIS will be able to provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 and confirm vaccination history with a goal to enable the public to digitally access their own vaccination records.

Key things people should know:

  • the vaccine is free and at no point will you ever be asked to pay for securing your place in the “vaccination queue.”
  • all communications about the vaccine programme will come from the Ministry of Health, the Unite Against COVID-19 website: and other health sources.
  • emails requesting financial and or personal details in regards to vaccination is likely to be a scam. The best way you can help stop these scams if to report them to CERT NZ via their website:
  • Collateral and resources for border workers and agencies with information about the vaccine rollout are being developed.

For more information: Unite against Covid-19