Preventing infectious diseases through immunisation

Community and Public Health is committed to encouraging immunisation amongst New Zealanders. Our main focuses are promoting the benefits of vaccination programmes and certifying the vaccinators who provide this valuable service.

Some Reasons Why Vaccination is Important

Young boy flexes his muscles to show how strong he is - shown from the back. Community and Public Health is an advocate for vaccination programmes because immunisation uses the body’s immune system to build resistance to serious diseases.

An immunised individual helps protect vulnerable people in the community by decreasing the possibility of a disease spreading. These vulnerable people are infants, the elderly and those with impaired immune systems. This protective effect only occurs if enough people are vaccinated and is called ‘herd immunity’.

New Zealand has a low child immunisation rate compared with other countries. This results in regular outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. The Ministry of Health’s target is that 95 percent of infants will have completed their primary course of immunisation on time (at six weeks, three months and five months of age).

Information on the COVID-19 vaccination

Updated 21st September 2021

All New Zealanders 12 years and over are now able to vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine will be FREE for everyone and no one will miss out.

There is no charge for COVID-19 vaccinations – so it is a scam if anyone asks for money for a vaccine. Call the NZ Police on 105 immediately if you are approached in this manner.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is the largest vaccine programme Aotearoa has ever managed. The national plan starts with those most at risk of catching COVID-19, or most at risk if they do get it.

Having the vaccine will not be mandatory for Kiwis. Our Government has secured enough vaccine so everyone aged 12 and over can be vaccinated if they choose to. The best way to protect yourself, your kaumātua and whānau is to get vaccinated.

All vaccinations are by appointment only.

Walk-in vaccination centres are now open at:

  • Community Services building on the Te Nīkau Hospital and Health Centre – from 10am to 4pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays or 2 to 7pm on Wednesdays; and
  • Princess Margaret Hospital until Sunday 3rd October 2021 – from 2 to 8pm on weekdays or 10am to 3pm on weekends.


Talk with your family doctor or other health professional if you have concerns about having the COVID-19 vaccine. You can also call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

COVID vaccine rollout on track to achieve equitable uptake for Māori and Pacific

Beehive media release: 6th August 2021

The Ministry of Health continues to review and analyse the data for the number of Māori and Pacific Peoples vaccinated to assess whether the vaccine rollout is on track to achieve equitable outcomes for Māori and Pacific populations.

The national sequencing framework has focused on vaccinating those most at risk of getting COVID or becoming very sick from the virus. This meant prioritising border and frontline workers, elderly, disabled and those with underlying health conditions.

The Ministry acknowledges the on-going commitment of iwi, Māori and Pacific providers, DHBs and communities that continue to lead and support vaccination programmes in the most effective way for their communities.

The wider population of Aotearoa are now being vaccinated – more than two million people. The Ministry of Health are using age bands because it’s simple and easy to understand. The programme starts with older people first because they are more at risk if they catch COVID-19.

Māori and Pacific populations have a younger age structure than the non-Māori non-Pacific population. 77 percent of the Māori eligible population and 79 percent of the Pacific eligible population are under the age of 54. The opportunity for significant numbers of the Māori and Pacific people to be vaccinated will not occur until vaccinations start for this age group.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


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

Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6484

Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169

For questions on immunisation and vaccination-preventable diseases, call:

0800 466863
9am – 4.30pm weekdays

PHARMAC widening access to the meningococcal ACWY vaccine

The meningococcal ACWY vaccine will be available free until 30th November 2021 for young people aged 13 to 25 who live in close living situations – boarding school hostels, tertiary education halls of residence, military barracks and prisons. Contact your general practice to have this free vaccination.

“It’s great when we can make a vaccine available to more people. Teenagers and young adults living in close living situations are one of the highest risk populations, which is why we’ve targeted this group” says PHARMAC’s deputy medical director Dr Pete Murray.

The bacterium that causes meningitis is generally carried by people aged 13 to 25 years. Carriers can infect those around them even if they have no symptoms. Vaccinating this age group would protect young people, decrease the number of carriers, and help reduce the spread of meningococcal disease in this at-risk population.

Applications for the meningococcal vaccine to be funded for other groups of people are still being considered, as is the funding of meningococcal B vaccine.

Year 7 and 8 Immunisation Videos

Both boys and girls are offered free immunisations at around age 11 against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis), and at around age 12 against human papillomavirus (HPV).

These immunisations are provided by general practices in Canterbury. Other parts of the South Island provide Year 7 immunisation through general practice and Year 8 at school.

Watch videos from the Ministry of Health that explain these Year 7 and 8 immunisations.

Year 8 Protect against most HPV cancers.

Page last updated: 21/09/2021

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