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 Immunisation Programme

Updated: 7th April 2022

COVID-19 vaccine: Boosters for 16-17 year olds.The COVID-19 vaccine is available for everyone aged 5 years and over – regardless of their visa or citizenship status.

Three different vaccines are now offered in New Zealand:

  • Pfizer – the main vaccine given;
  • AstraZeneca – available from selected locations; and
  • Novavax – available from limited locations.

Booster jabs are now available for free to those aged 18 years and over who had their second COVID-19 vaccine dose at least three months ago.
People aged 16 and 17 years old can now get a free booster dose at least 6 months after their second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

It’s recommended you wait 3 months after testing positive for COVID-19, before getting any COVID-19 vaccination. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine sooner than this might reduce your immune response to the vaccine.

The vaccine will be free for everyone and no one will miss out. Having the vaccine will not be mandatory for Kiwis. The best way to protect yourself, your kaumātua and whānau is to get vaccinated.

Vaccinations are available at a range of locations, including pop-up centres, GPs, Māori and Pacific healthcare providers, mobile clinics and community clinics.



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

Ph: +64 3 687 2600

Ph: +64 3 768 1160

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

0800 466863
9am – 4.30pm weekdays

For questions on the COVID-19 vaccine and to book, call:

0800 28 29 26
8am to 8pm – 7 days a week.

Protect yourself and your whānau this winter: You can now get your flu jab.

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: 23/06/2022

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