AstraZeneca Vaccines on the West Coast

From Tuesday 30 November, people aged 18 and older can access the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at several clinics on the West Coast

From Friday 26 November, bookings to get AstraZeneca can be made using Book My Vaccine or by calling 0800 28 29 26.

AstraZeneca is available at the following location:

Date available

Clinic

Days

AstraZeneca clinic hours

From 2 Dec

Greymouth

Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre, 71 Water Walk Road, Greymouth

Thu, Fri

10am-4pm

Read about Things you need to know about the AstraZeneca vaccine (PDF, 1MB)

FAQs

Why is AstraZeneca only available at a limited number of clinics? 

The AstraZeneca vaccine is only available at a limited number of sites because Pfizer is the main vaccine we are using in New Zealand.  

We are starting with a small number of vaccines and will monitor demand and supply. If there is demand in an area where a clinic is not easily accessible, we can hold pop up clinics or mobile vaccinations.  

About the AstraZeneca vaccine 

TheAstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is available foranyone aged 18 years and older who can’t have the Pfizer vaccine or wants a different option. 

Pfizer is the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for use in New Zealand. Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines will give you the best protection against COVID 19. Both vaccines are free. 

You need to have 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. You’ll need to wait at least 4 weeks before getting your second dose. To have the best protection, you need to get both doses of the vaccine. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been thoroughly assessed for safety by Medsafe. Medsafe only grants approval for using a vaccine in Aotearoa once it’s satisfied the international evidence shows benefits outweigh the risks. There have been no shortcuts taken in granting approval. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been used successfully by millions worldwide. 

What the AstraZeneca vaccine contains 

  • non-replicating modified adenovirus viral vector encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein 
  • L-histidine 
  • L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate 
  • magnesium chloride hexahydrate 
  • polysorbate 80 
  • ethanol 
  • sucrose 
  • sodium chloride 
  • disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA) 
  • water for injection. 

How to get the AstraZeneca vaccine 

From 26 November you can book an appointment at www.BookMyVaccine.nz to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

If you select AstraZeneca, Book my Vaccine will show a list of vaccination clinics where AstraZeneca is available. Not all clinics are delivering AstraZeneca because Pfizer is the main vaccine we are using in New Zealand. 

If you can’t book online, call 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week). 

Getting your AstraZeneca vaccine 

You should not get the AstraZeneca vaccine if you: 

  • have had a severe allergic reaction to this vaccine or its ingredients 
  • have had a major blood clot at the same time as having low levels of platelets (thrombocytopenia) after receiving any COVID-19 vaccine  
  • have had Capillary Leak Syndrome (CLS – a condition causing fluid leakage from small blood vessels). 

You cannot get the AstraZeneca vaccine if you are under 18 years old. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine is injected into a muscle (usually in the upper arm). The second injection can be given between 4 and 12 weeks after the first injection. If you get AstraZeneca for your first dose, then you should also get it (and not the Pfizer vaccine) for your second dose. 

You will need to wait for at least 15 minutes after your vaccination. 

Pregnancy 

There is insufficient data on the use of AstraZeneca in pregnant people, so Pfizer remains the preferred choice of vaccine for this group. 

Talk to your doctor about whether the AstraZeneca vaccine is suitable for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you think you may be pregnant. 

How the AstraZeneca vaccine protects you from COVID-19 

The type of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is new to humans. This is why our bodies do not already know how to fight it off. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine stimulates the body’s immune system. It causes the body to produce antibodies to help fight the virus. This will help to protect you against COVID-19 in the future. None of the ingredients in this vaccine can cause COVID-19. 

How we know the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective 

COVID-19 vaccines are already the most well-studied vaccines ever made. 

In the clinical trials, the AstraZeneca vaccine gave 81% protection against the symptoms of COVID-19. 

It also shows effectiveness against hospital admission of at least 80% after a single dose. 

For the best protection, you need 2 doses. 

Side effects 

As with all medicines, you might experience some mild side effects. This is common, and a sign that your body is learning to fight the virus. 

Serious side effects 

There are some side effects that are very rare but serious. 

Blood clots are a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine. It has occurred in around 1 in 100,000 people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Symptoms can include: 

  • shortness of breath 
  • chest pain 
  • leg swelling 
  • pain in arms or legs 
  • severe or persistent headache 
  • blurred vision 
  • confusion or seizures (fits) 
  • abdominal pain. 

Very rare cases of Capillary Leak Syndrome (CLS) have been reported. The symptoms of this condition include rapid swelling of the arms and legs, sudden weight gain and feeling faint. 

Very rare cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) have also been reported. GBS is a rare immune disorder that causes nerve inflammation. Symptoms may include pain, numbness and muscle weakness in the arms and legs which may progress to the chest and face.  

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.