Novavax Vaccines in Canterbury

From 5 July, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccination is able to be used as a FIRST booster without a prescription. This decision follows an update from Medsafe to the provisional approval. 

Novavax can be given as a first booster without prescription regardless of the vaccines given for the primary vaccine course. 

A prescription for Novavax is still required if Novavax is to be given as part of a mixed primary course.   

The Pfizer vaccine remains the only vaccine approved for use as a SECOND booster. 


Novavax (Nuvaxovid) is now approved for people aged 18 and older. You can book the Novavax vaccine at this Christchurch location from 10 March:

Barrington Vaccination Hub at Barrington Mall
Address: 256 Barrington Street, Spreydon, Christchurch
Go to or call 0800 28 29 26
Clinic hours: 

  • Tuesdays 3:30pm – 5:30pm
  • Thursdays, 11am – 1.30pm

Unichem Medical Corner Rangiora
Address: 237A High Street, Rangiora
Go to or call 0800 28 29 26
Clinic hours: 

  • Weekdays 9am – 3pm

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, or call CANVAX at 0800 226 829 to arrange a telehealth consultation with a GP. Please allow at least 72 hours before your vaccination appointment for the prescription to be arranged. 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.

Novavax has not applied to Medsafe to be used as a booster. Pfizer continues to be the preferred vaccine for a booster dose in New Zealand. 

Who can receive Novavax

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. 

 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.

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.