Learn about booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines, when you need one and how to get it.
About booster doses
If you are 16 years old and over, you are eligible to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you are 18 years old or over, you can get a booster dose 3 months after your primary course.
If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can get your booster 6 months after your primary course of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Booster doses are not mandatory and are not needed to get a Vaccine Pass. If you do get a booster dose, it will be added to My Covid Record and you can create another Pass.
If you have had COVID-19, you should wait 3 months after testing positive before getting any COVID-19 vaccination.
You can get a booster dose by:
- going to a walk-in vaccination clinic
- making an appointment with your doctor, if they are providing COVID-19 vaccines
- booking through Book My Vaccine or calling 0800 28 29 26 Find out about My Covid Record
Which vaccine will you be given?
The Pfizer vaccine is the main vaccine being used in New Zealand for boosters, even if you had a different vaccine for your earlier doses.
An AstraZeneca booster is now available 3 months after the second dose, but you will need a prescription. You can get a prescription before your appointment with your preferred doctor, or from a vaccinating AstraZeneca clinic — however not all clinics will be able to provide a prescription.
It is free to visit the doctor for an AstraZeneca booster prescription.
Effectiveness of boosters
While two doses are likely to provide a good degree of protection against severe disease from Delta and Omicron COVID-19 variants for some time, a booster dose offers greater protection.
Current evidence shows your protection against infection after the primary vaccination course decreases over time. Giving a ‘top up’ vaccine after a primary course helps boost your immunity against COVID-19.
Boosters lower your chances of getting very sick from COVID-19 and ending up in hospital.
If you had your primary course vaccination(s) overseas, you can get a booster 3 months after you received your most recent vaccine if you are 18 years old or over. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can get a booster 6 months after your most recent vaccine.
If you are immunocompromised
A third primary dose is recommended for people who are immunocompromised. This is different to a booster dose.
People eligible for a third primary dose can also access a booster dose 3 months after receiving their third primary dose if 18 years old or over. If they are 16 or 17 years old, they can get a booster 6 months after their third primary dose.
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.