Working to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Community and Public Health stood up their response to COVID-19 in just two hours in late January 2020 with staff ceasing ‘business as usual’ work. Every effort, hour and individual was focused on this response until September 2022. Staff were involved in the local COVID-19 response in many ‘behind the scenes’ ways across Canterbury, South Canterbury, West Coast and the Chatham Islands.

Currently Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health is focussed on minimising the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities.

Get the latest information on COVID-19

The Health Information and Services website from Te Whatu Ora provides the latest news and health information for the public about COVID-19, including:

International Travel COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates soon no longer available

Te Whatu Ora media release: 15th February 2024

International Travel COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates will no longer be available for New Zealanders travelling overseas – from Wednesday 28th February 2024.

The certificates were introduced in 2021 to help people who required evidence of immunisation against COVID-19 for international travel.  More than 2 million certificates have been issued for New Zealanders travelling overseas since then.

People travelling overseas who want proof of their COVID-19 immunisations can request a copy in My Health Record.

My Health Record lets users see a record of all their immunisation history, including COVID-19. You can print these if needed.

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora publishes the latest COVID-19 case numbers – updated weekly.

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora has COVID-19 information for health professionals and other sectors of the community.

You can call the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline for health advice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 358 5453.

Translation services are available in over 40 languages, and there is the option to use NZ Relay Services.

Video also available in Te Reo Māori.

Learn about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters

The best way to protect yourself, your kaumātua and whānau is to get vaccinated.

Everyone in New Zealand aged 5 or over can get a free COVID-19 vaccination. It does not matter what your visa or citizenship status is.

Children aged 6 months to 4 years can get a paediatric vaccine if they are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Talk with your family doctor or other health professional if you have concerns about having the COVID-19 vaccine.

You can also call the COVID Vaccination Healthline for information on COVID vaccines and boosters, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week on 0800 28 29 26.

The Health Information and Services website from Te Whatu Ora has the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, including:

You can check when you are due for a booster on My COVID Record or on your purple COVID-19 Vaccine appointment card – if you have one.

Read or download resources on the COVID-19 vaccine – available in numerous languages and for those with learning difficulties (Ministry of Health).

Updated COVID-19 vaccine available in March 2024

Te Whatu Ora media release: 22nd February 2024

A vaccine to combat the newer strains of COVID-19 will be available to New Zealanders from Thursday 7th March 2024.

Pharmac has approved the transition to the updated COVID-19 vaccine for the XBB.1.5 strain to be used in New Zealand from 7 March 2024, says Pharmac’s Director Pharmaceuticals Geraldine

The XBB vaccine is more effective against more recent subvariants of COVID-19 in New Zealand. The XBB vaccine will be funded for these eligible groups:

  • everyone aged 30 years and over;
  • people aged 16 to 29 who are pregnant; and
  • people aged 12 to 29 at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The XBB vaccine is especially recommended for those who are more likely to get seriously unwell if they get COVID-19. This includes:

  • people aged 65 and older;
  • Māori and Pacific people aged 50 and older;
  • residents of aged care facilities; and
  • severely immunocompromised people aged 12 years and over who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Health NZ National Public Health Service National Director Nick Chamberlain says that COVID-19 is not a seasonal illness, and we’ve seen a rise in COVID-19 cases over the summer.

“If you’re eligible, you can get a vaccination if it’s been at least six months since your last COVID-19 vaccine or if you have never had one before. It’s recommended that you wait at least
six months since your last COVID-19 infection.”

Booking and getting your COVID-19 vaccine

You can book COVID vaccinations online from Book My Vaccine.

You can also call the national COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm 7 days a week) and make a booking over the phone. A carer or relative can book a vaccination on your behalf. Translation services are also available if you need them.

Get information about COVID-19 vaccination for disabled people, such as accessible clinics and arranging transport.

You can get your COVID-19 vaccination at:

  • Your general practice – appointments for enrolled patients only; or
  • Your local pharmacy.


Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 research

Impacts of COVID-19 in the community

Contact the Communicable Disease staff at your local office for further information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Ph: +64 3 687 2600

Ph: +64 3 768 1160

Support tools for those with Long COVID

ME Support has developed a Long COVID online support tool. It is also useful for people with other post-viral illnesses as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Long COVID Support Aotearoa’s website aims to help people live with Long COVID, or support someone who does.

You also sign up to the Long COVID Registry Aotearoa New Zealand.

Coping with Long COVID: A new resource to help manage your wellbeing if you have Long COVID. Source: Mental Health Foundation of NZ.

Canterbury | Waitaha and Mid Canterbury

South Canterbury

West Coast | Te Tai o Poutini

Chatham Islands

The Chatham Islands Health Centre provides the following services:

  • COVID-19 Testing – to enrolled and casual patients; and
  • COVID-19 vaccination for adults and children including boosters – for enrolled patients only.

Call 03 3050 035 for more information and to make your vaccination appointment.

Page last updated: 22/04/2024

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