Being up to date with your vaccines is our best protection against Omicron.
New Zealanders aged 18 or older can now receive a Pfizer booster at least 3 months (93 days) after completing their primary course (for most people this will be two doses but for those who are immune compromised this might be three).
The interval between completing your primary course and the booster dose is 3 months (93 days).
Those aged 16 and 17 are now eligible for boosters, provided it has been at least six-months since your second dose.
A booster dose is particularly recommended for 16 and 17-year-olds who are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms and hospitalisation – including those who are immunocompromised or living with a family member who is immunocompromised, and Māori and Pacific rangatahi.
Current evidence shows your protection against infection after the primary vaccination course decreases over time. Getting a ‘top up’ vaccine after your two doses helps boost your immunity against COVID-19.
The Pfizer vaccine is the primary vaccine being used in New Zealand for booster doses, even if you had a different vaccine for your earlier doses.
If you are immunocompromised
Booster doses are different from additional primary doses for severely immunocompromised people.
More information can be found on the Unite Against Covid-19 website: Third primary dose if you are immunocompromised
Second Booster Dose
Everyone aged 50 and over is now eligible for their second booster dose six months after their first booster – or three months after a COVID-19 infection – whichever is the later date.
People who can receive their second booster include:
- People aged 50 years and over
- Residents of aged care and disability care facilities
- Severely immunocompromised people who received a three-dose primary course and a fourth dose as a first booster (noting this will be a fifth dose for these people)
- People aged 16 years and over who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe breakthrough COVID-19 illness
- People aged 16 years and over who live with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities
- People aged 30 years and over who work in health, aged care or the disability sector
A second booster is not recommended for healthy pregnant people. However, any questions or concerns should be addressed to your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC).
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine remains the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for use in New Zealand, reflecting its excellent safety and effectiveness profile. Talking to your GP or health professional will help in determining the best vaccine booster option.
Second boosters for Novavax
- From 14 July people 18 years and older will be able to access second boosters for Novavax via Book My Vaccine.
- The addition of Novavax means people now have a choice in their second booster vaccination, with the Pfizer second booster already available.
- For the Novavax second booster NO prescription is needed
- You need to be 18 years and older to access the second booster for Novavax
- Novavax second booster does not require a prescription at a minimum dosing interval of 6 months
- Novavax first booster does not require a prescription at a minimum interval of 6 months (As implemented last week)
- Novavax primary course (mixed schedule) requires a prescription (no change from current)
- Novavax primary course (both Novavax) does not require a prescription (no change from current)
- The second booster of Novavax can be administered after a primary course and third dose of any approved COVID-19 vaccine.
- AstraZeneca vaccinations ceased on 4 September 2022
- After this date, those needing boosters can have a Pfizer, or Novavax vaccine as a non-mRNA alternative. Please discuss alternative vaccines with your doctor or healthcare provider.
More information can be found on the Ministry of Health website: COVID-19 vaccine: Boosters
Why is a second booster important?
· A second booster is important for our most vulnerable people as we move into the winter peak.
· Staying up to date with the recommended COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to protect you from the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation or death from COVID-19. This is particularly important as we approach the winter season.
When do I get one?
· You can only get your second booster six months after your first booster.
· If you have had COVID-19 recently and it is six months after your first booster, you will need to wait at least 3 months after infection before having your second booster.
How/where do I get one?
· Novavax is only available at select vaccination centres with bookings needing to be made through Book My Vaccine. If you select Novavax, the site will show a list of vaccination centres where they can be given. Not all sites are able to deliver these vaccines.
· The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine remains the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for use in New Zealand, reflecting its excellent safety and effectiveness profile. Talking to your GP or health professional will help in determining the best vaccine booster option.
How can I get my booster dose?
To avoid a potential wait, we encourage you to book your booster dose by using the BookMyVaccine.nz website.
You can also drop-in at a vaccination centre or a general practice or pharmacy that offers COVID-19 vaccinations.