Your immunity from COVID-19 reduces over time so keeping up-to-date with your boosters provides an extra layer of protection.
- Boosters help protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19, ending up in hospital, and even death.
- Boosters can provide stronger immunity than the natural immunity you get after having COVID-19.
- Boosters help you stay well so you can continue to work, travel and spend time with friends and whānau.
- The more of us who stay well, the less disruption on our communities, businesses and our health sector
Who can get boosted?
- If you're 18 or over you can get your booster three months after your second dose.
- If you're 16 or 17 years old, you can get your booster six months after your second dose.
FAQs - Booster doses for 16-17 year olds
What will happen if I decide to wait until I am 18?
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.
If I received my second dose just before I turned 18, do I wait 3 months or 6 months before I get a booster?
If you are 18 or over, you can have your booster dose 3 months following completion of your primary course.
If I received my second dose just before I turned 16, can I get a booster dose after 6 months?
If you are 16, you can have a booster dose 6 months following completion of your primary course.
If I’m 16/17 and covered under a vaccination order, am I required to get a booster to keep my job?
People under the age of 18 are not currently covered by a vaccination order.
How many rangatahi aged 16 and 17 are eligible for a booster dose?
As of 4 April, around 35 percent (around 36,000) of rangatahi aged 16 and 17 years will be eligible to receive their Pfizer booster dose because it has been at least six months since completing a primary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes 23 percent (5,180) of Māori and 39 percent (4,185) of Pacific peoples aged 16 and 17 years.
By the first week of July, 95 percent of rangatahi aged 16 and 17 years who have completed their primary course will be eligible for a Pfizer booster dose.
- For rangatahi under 16 years of age, a booster dose is not currently available. Exceptions are possible in specific circumstances and require a GP consultation and prescription.
- Pregnant people can receive a booster dose. The booster vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy at least 3 months after the primary vaccine. The Ministry of Health recommends the Pfizer vaccine for pregnant people to protect them and their baby against the effects of COVID-19. Pregnant people should discuss the timing of their booster, and any concerns with their lead maternity carer, obstetrician or general practitioner.
- If you’ve had COVID-19 it is still important to get your booster. Vaccination provides you with broader protection than a previous COVID infection. You should wait at least 3 months after you test positive before you receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
- A second booster is recommended for those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 a minimum of 6 months after a first booster. Find more information here.
How do I get boosted?
You can get a booster the same way you got your previous doses, at vaccination clinics, pharmacies, and GP clinics. If you can't get to a clinic, we can come to you - please complete this form or call 03 476 9977.
If you’re eligible, you can book an appointment for your booster dose on BookMyVaccine.nz or by calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).
Interpretation services, and text, email and NZ Relay options for deaf and hearing impaired are available if you need them on 0800 28 29 26 (8am - 8pm, 7 days a week). There is also a specialist team for disabled people (option 2 on the 0800 number).
A second booster is recommended for those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – a minimum of 6 months after a first booster. For those who are not considered at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, a two-dose primary course and a booster dose provides very good protection against severe illness from COVID-19.
A second booster is available to anyone aged 50 and over; and healthcare and aged residential care workers aged 30 and over but is strongly recommended for:
- people aged 65 years and over;
- Māori and Pacific peoples 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 would 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 and
- people aged 16 years and over who live with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities.
Please note: a second booster is not recommended for healthy pregnant people.