Booster shots and vaccines for children.
Jan. 7, 2022
- COVID BOOSTERS AND VACCINATION FOR CHILDREN
Who can get a vaccine booster?
You can get a booster dose now if:
- you are aged 18 or over, and
- you are fully vaccinated, and
- it has been at least 4 months since your second dose.
The booster is different to the third primary dose recommended for severely immunocompromised people. People eligible for a third primary dose can access a booster fourth dose 6 months after receiving their third primary dose.
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.
Everything you need to know about boosters [PDF, 1024 KB]
Recording booster doses
You do not need a booster dose to be 'fully vaccinated' or to get a vaccine pass or certificate. If you do get a booster dose, it will be added to My Covid Record and you can create another pass.
Vaccinations and work
For workers covered by the Mandatory Vaccinations Order, we expect changes to be confirmed in January 2022 about mandatory boosters. We will provide more information about this in January.
More information about boosters | health.govt.nz(external link)
If you had your COVID-19 vaccination overseas, you can get a Pfizer booster 4 months after you received your most recent vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the recommended booster dose regardless of what vaccine you had for earlier doses.
When to get your booster
If you are fully vaccinated, you remain well-protected from getting seriously ill if you do get COVID-19.
Current evidence shows that antibody levels decrease over time after the second Pfizer vaccine dose. There is reduced protection against infection from 6 months after a primary vaccination course.
Boosters are strongly recommended for anyone over 18 who has had their second dose at least 4 months ago.
How to get your booster
From 17 January, you can book an appointment to get a booster online through Book My Vaccine(external link)(external link).
When you arrive for your booster, the date of your last vaccination will be checked in the COVID Immunisation Register (CIR) to ensure it has been at least 4 months since your last vaccination.
Effectiveness of boosters
Data from Pfizer shows that a booster dose is 95.6% effective against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. This is compared to those who did not receive a booster.
At this stage, there is no data available on duration of protection against infection and disease following a booster dose. Health officials will continue to review information as it becomes available.
Side effects of boosters
Side effects of booster doses are like those from primary vaccine doses. These include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, headache, nausea and feeling tired or fatigued.
If you are immunocompromised
The booster is different to the third primary dose recommended for people who are immunocompromised. People eligible for a third primary dose can access a booster dose 6 months after receiving their third primary dose.
Third primary dose if you are immunocompromised
What you need to know about the Pfizer vaccine
COVID Vaccinations for children
Children will receive a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine
Tamariki aged 5 to 11 will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination from 17 January 2022.
They will receive a children's version of the Pfizer vaccine, with a lower dose and smaller volume. The lower dose was chosen based on a trial that showed the lower dose was safe and had few side effects in this age group.
If a child has their second vaccination after they have turned 12, they should still complete their vaccination course with the paediatric formulation of the Pfizer vaccine.
Children are not eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Children need 2 doses 8 weeks apart
To be fully protected, children need 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. We recommend the first and second dose are at least 8 weeks apart. The interval can be shortened to a minimum of 21 days if needed – for example, if the child is starting significant immunosuppression treatment.
Children are not eligible for booster vaccinations.
Children in this age group must have a parent, caregiver or legal guardian accompany them to their appointment and provide consent for them to be vaccinated.
At the appointment, both the adult and child can ask as many questions as they like.
Protecting your tamariki from COVID-19 [PDF, 646 KB]