Kia Ora!

Haere mai, Kohi Mai Ra and welcome to the home for the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Canterbury/Waitaha, West Coast/Te Tai Poutini and Rēkohu/ Wharekauri/Chatham Island.

Here’s where you’ll find information on when and how to get your free COVID-19 vaccine in Waitaha, Te Tai Poutini and Rēkohu.


Please note: If you are in Group 3 in Canterbury...

In Waitaha/Canterbury, we’re currently vaccinating Group 1, Group 2 and a limited number of people in Group 3. If you’re in Group 3, you don’t need to do anything right now. Please don’t contact us or your general practice. We’ll contact you when it’s your turn. Your primary care health provider will text, call or send you a letter telling you how to book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

Our current COVID-19 vaccination schedule in Canterbury

In Waitaha/Canterbury we’re currently vaccinating people in Group 1, Group 2 and a small number of people in Group 3.

Group 1 includes border and MIQ workers and their household contacts.

Group 2 includes frontline health workers; people working and living in long-term residential care; Māori and Pacific people aged 70 and over, the people they live with and their carers.

Group 3 includes people aged 65 and over; people with some underlying health conditions; pregnant people; people with disabilities and their carers, plus older Māori and Pacific people, the people they live with and their carers.

There are more than 170,000 people in Group 3 in Canterbury. Because of this, we’re inviting people to book their vaccination appointments in stages.

When it is your turn to book an appointment, we’ll contact you directly with instructions about how to book. This will be by text, email, letter or phone call.

If you’re in Group 3 and you haven’t been contacted to book your vaccination, you don’t need to do anything right now. We’ll contact you when it’s your turn. Please be patient.

Last updated: Monday 14 June 2021

Getting your vaccination

An overview of the Pfizer vaccination, things to consider before getting your vaccination, and what will happen after your vaccination.

Your COVID-19 vaccination

A summary pamphlet about the COVID-19 vaccine, the health information you need to share, and how the vaccine works.

Getting your vaccination - Easy to read version

Easy to read information on getting a vaccination and what to expect after your vaccination.

Te Rongoā Ārai Mate Korona - The COVID-19 vaccine

Information about COVID-19 vaccinations for people living in Waitaha, Te Tai Poutini and Rēkohu.

When will I be vaccinated? (Canterbury)

A quick guide about when people in groups 2, 3 and 4 in the Canterbury DHB region can expect to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

When will I be vaccinated? (West Coast)

A quick guide about when people in groups 2, 3 and 4 in the West Coast DHB region can expect to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

Frequently Asked Questions

The vaccination is for everyone aged 16 and over, regardless of visa or citizenship status. The vaccination is free and voluntary.

New Zealand has secured enough doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (Comirnaty) to vaccinate everyone in the country.

The Pfizer vaccine will not give you COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine works by triggering your immune system to produce antibodies and blood cells that work against the COVID-19 virus.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step you can take to protect yourself from the effects of the virus.

You’ll need two doses, at least three weeks apart. To ensure you have the best protection, make sure you get both doses of the vaccine.

The most vulnerable people in our community are being given the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19 first.

The roll-out plan includes vaccinating four main groups, in order of vulnerability. Find out which group you are in by using the Find out when you can get a vaccine tool available on the COVID-19 website.

Chatham Islands/Rēkohu residents will be offered COVID-19 vaccinations towards the end of June. Check in with the Chatham Islands Health Centre for appointment times closer to the time.

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.

Learn more about applying for an early vaccine

Depending on which group you belong to, you may be offered a vaccine at or near your place of work, from your General Practice team or other health provider, or at a community clinic or pop-up centre.

General information about where vaccinations for each group will occur is available on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

We’re starting to roll out vaccinations to more remote and rural locations so these communities can be vaccinated close to where they live and work. Planned clinic locations include Akaroa township, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Kaikōura and Selwyn Districts.

At this point in time, these clinics are not open to the general public.

COVID-19 vaccinations will start on Pitt Island and the Chathams Islands in June.

COVID-19 vaccination is free and voluntary. However, we strongly encourage everyone who is eligible for a vaccination to get one – getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you, your kaumātua and whanau, and your community. The more people who are vaccinated, the safer our community will be.

  • If you’re pregnant, we encourage you to get a COVID-19 vaccine as part of Group 3 at any stage of your pregnancy.
  • This is because people who are pregnant can become very sick if they get COVID-19 infection.
  • Evidence from the large number of pregnant people who have already been vaccinated globally, indicates that there are no safety concerns with administering COVID-19 vaccines at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Vaccinating during pregnancy may also be helpful for the baby, as there is evidence of antibody transfer in cord blood and breast milk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, discuss them with your healthcare professional.

People under the age of 16 are not included for now. There’s limited data available for this age group as they weren’t part of the clinical trials. This situation will no doubt change as more data becomes available. This age group are much less likely to experience serious illness and so the risk to them of being unimmunised is far less.

Pfizer is given as an injection into the muscle of your upper arm.

You’ll need two doses. The second dose is given at least three weeks later. It’s very important you get your second dose, you have your best protection once you have both doses.

Staff will observe you for at least 20 minutes after your injection.

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.

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (Comirnaty) 

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 won't stop you from having the second dose or going about your daily life.

Learn more about who can have the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and what it contains

No. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one currently approved by Medsafe for use in Aotearoa/New Zealand and enough of this vaccine is on order to provide two doses for everyone.

COVID-19 vaccines used in New Zealand must comply with international and local standards for quality, safety and effectiveness.

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.

If you feel uncomfortable, you can:

  • place a cold, wet cloth or ice pack on the injection site for a short time
  • rest and drink plenty of fluids
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen.

If you have side effects or feel unwell after your vaccination, speak with your family doctor or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

We also encourage you to report any side effects. If you experience a side effect (also known as an adverse event) after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, you can report it to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).

If you’re concerned about your safety, call 111. Tell them you’ve had a COVID-19 vaccination so they can assess you properly.

Yes. The data is clear that the vaccines protect individuals from the effects of the virus. However, it is still possible for some people who have been vaccinated (approximately 1 in 10) to transmit the virus to someone else.

Once you’ve been vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Thoroughly wash and dry your hands. Cough or sneeze into your elbow and stay home if you feel unwell. This will help you protect yourself, your whānau and others.

Continue using the COVID tracer app, turn on your phone’s Bluetooth function, and you may wish to wear a face covering or mask.

The vaccine appears to provide substantial protection against virus transmission, however, it is possible for some people who have been vaccinated (approximately 1 in 10) to transmit the virus to someone else. Maintaining good hygiene practices, staying at home if you are sick and getting tested if required are as important as ever.

Cumulative vaccinations by DHB of residence

Tuesday 15 June 2021 at 23:59


Vaccine 49,369

First dose


Second dose

West Coast

Vaccine 4,737

First dose

Vaccine 2,569

Second dose

* Vaccination information is updated weekly based on the MoH Cumulative vaccinations by DHB of residence data published on

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Canterbury

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics on the West Coast

Latest Updates

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