Novavax Vaccines in Canterbury

The Novavax (Nuvaxovid) vaccine is available to anyone aged 12 -17 for their primary vaccine course. Previously, it was only available to those aged 18 years and over. It is free to get vaccinated.

Novavax is the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in New Zealand and prevents you from getting infected and having COVID-19 symptoms or severe illness. 

A prescription is required for your second primary dose if your first primary dose was not Novavax. For those aged 18 and above, prescriptions are NOT required for either a first or second Novavax booster dose. 

Unichem Medical Corner Rangiora
Address: 237A High Street, Rangiora
Go to or call 0800 28 29 26
Clinic hours: Weekdays 9:00am – 3:00pm

If your first dose was any COVID-19 vaccine other than Novavax, you will need a prescription. To get a prescription you can make an appointment with your GP. Visits to GPs for a Novavax prescription are free.

Read about Things you need to know about the Novavax vaccine (321 KB, PDF)


About the Novavax Vaccine

Novavax is a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine that is recommended as a primary vaccination course with two doses, given three weeks apart.

The Novavax vaccine has been thoroughly assessed for safety by New Zealand Medsafe experts.

Novavax has been approved for use in 38 countries, including Australia, European Union member states, Singapore and the United Kingdom as a primary course vaccine.

Who can receive Novavax?

Anyone aged 12+ can receive the Novavax vaccine. Those aged 18 and over may also receive Novavax as a first or second booster. 

Novavax can be administered to people who have received a different COVID-19 vaccine as their first dose, and this should occur at least 28 days after the first dose of the other COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that a prescription is required if your first dose was not Novavax. 

People are observed for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination.

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

With 95% of New Zealanders already vaccinated, we are starting with a small number of vaccines in comparison to Pfizer and will monitor uptake and supply. Similar to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Novavax vaccine will only be available at a limited number of sites across the country as Pfizer is the main vaccine we are using in New Zealand. 

If there is demand in an area where a clinic is not easily accessible, we can hold mobile clinics or mobile vaccinations.  

What is in the Novavax vaccine?

Novavax contains a non-infectious component on the surface of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which induces a protective immune response when the body’s immune cells come into contact with it.

What are the side effects?

Common side effects after Novavax include injection site pain or tenderness; tiredness; headache; muscle or joint pain; generally feeling unwell. Most side effects are mild and go away within a few days.

Rare side effects include severe allergic reaction (eg, anaphylaxis). The vaccine has had limited take up around the world so information on rare side effects is limited.

Myocarditis and pericarditis are also very rare but serious side effects.

Symptoms of myocarditis or pericarditis linked to the vaccine generally appear within a few days, and mostly within the first few weeks after having the vaccine. If you get any of these new symptoms after your vaccination, you should seek prompt medical help. If these symptoms don’t go away, seek medical help again. Children are less likely to have these sorts of side effects but may not volunteer symptoms. Caregivers should ask children how they are feeling. 

Can I get Novavax to meet a Vaccination Order/Mandate? 

Yes. Novavax is part of the Vaccination Order requirements.

Efficacy against Omicron

Laboratory tests suggest that Novavax has efficacy against the Omicron strain, but real-world data from people vaccinated with Novavax is not available yet.