Everyone in New Zealand, no matter citizenship or visa status, will be offered the vaccine. There will be enough
vaccine for the entire population to be vaccinated and no one will miss out. The vaccine is free.
Health and safety of COVID-19 vaccine
Medsafe only grants consent for a vaccine to be used in New Zealand once it is satisfied it’s safe and effective
enough to use.
• It is recommended that the following gaps between vaccines be observed:
• At least a two-week gap between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine
• A four-week gap between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine, when MMR is given first. The gap can be reduced to two weeks when giving MMR after the second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Having a gap between the different types of vaccinations makes it easier to judge which vaccine may be
responsible for any side effects. Note that there are no clinical safety concerns should the gap between vaccines be less than the recommendations above. Do not delay vaccination if such a gap is not possible.
Clarifying underlying health conditions for accessing the COVID-19 vaccine
The Ministry has provided clarity on underlying health conditions. This means more people in Group 3 can now get earlier access to the vaccine.
People who meet one or more of the following criteria can now receive their COVID-19 vaccine as part of Group 3:
• they have a health condition that means they are eligible for a publicly-funded influenza vaccine
including pregnant people
• they have been diagnosed with severe mental illness (which includes schizophrenia, major depressive
disorder, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder, and adults currently accessing secondary and
tertiary mental health and addiction services)
• they have poorly controlled or severe hypertension/high blood pressure (generally defined as requiring
two or more medications for control or, not currently under adequate control)
• they are severely obese (defined as a BMI ≥40).
Details about the expanded underlying health conditions can be found at COVID-19: Vaccine advice for specific groups and health conditions | Ministry of Health NZ