New Zealand’s vaccine plan is to:
- put safety first with all COVID-19 vaccines
- secure enough safe and effective vaccines to protect Aotearoa and the Pacific
- protect Māori, Pacific peoples, and other groups at greater risk of COVID-19
- make it easy for people to get vaccinated
- ensure we are prepared for future outbreaks
- support New Zealand’s contribution to global wellbeing.
The rollout at a glance
We’re rolling out the vaccine in stages. We’ve created four groups that everyone in the country aged 16 and over will fall under.
Dates and timings may change
Time frames are approximate and may overlap. The actual start dates will depend on when vaccines are delivered and whether there is community transmission at the time.
Our vaccination dashboard shows a snapshot of our vaccination progress. You can see the number of people who have received their vaccination in New Zealand so far.
Find out what group you’re in
What group you’re in depends on your age and situation. You can use the Unite against COVID-19 tool to find out what group you’re probably in and when you can get a vaccine.
Find out when you can get a vaccine — Unite against COVID-19 tool
Getting an early vaccination
At this stage, you can only apply for an early COVID-19 vaccine if you have an urgent need to travel outside of New Zealand. This is only for compassionate reasons or those of national significance. You’ll need to meet specific criteria.
Applying for an early vaccine for travel
Group 1 – Border and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers and the people they live with
Start date: currently being vaccinated
How many people this includes: around 50,000 people
Border and MIQ workers
This group have mandatory COVID-19 testing as part of their work. They’re most at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Protecting them first and the people they live with may reduce the risk of transmission in the community.
- nurses who undertake health checks in MIQ
- security staff
- customs and border officials
- hotel workers
- defence force staff who work at Managed Isolation
- airline staff
- port authorities
People living with border and MIQ workers (household contacts)
This includes anyone who lives with a border or MIQ worker. You don’t have to be related and can live with them part-time.
This also covers papakāinga and other shared communal living arrangements.
Group 2 – High-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places
Start date: currently being vaccinated
How many people this includes: around 480,000 people
High-risk frontline healthcare workers
High-risk frontline healthcare workers are those most likely to contract or spread COVID-19 through their interactions with patients, potential COVID-19 cases or potential COVID-19 samples.
- COVID-19 testing and vaccination services
- contact tracing
- ambulance services
- urgent care clinics
- accident and emergency departments
- primary care
- community mental health and addictions services
- inpatient, ambulatory, outpatient hospital-based publicly funded services
- community and home-based healthcare services, including those provided by NGOs or iwi
- hospital and community diagnostics – eg radiology, laboratories
- mother and child well-being services (community maternity and Well Child/Tamariki Ora)
- community public health teams, including outreach immunisation services
- home care support, including aged care and disability support services
- hospice care
- DHB COVID-19 incident management teams
- health students working on clinical placements.
It also includes staff who are not registered health professionals, but have contact with patients such as receptionists and security staff.
People living in high-risk places
This group live in community environments where there’s a higher risk of COVID-19 spreading. If this happens many residents could get very sick or die.
- people living in long-term residential care homes, eg aged residential care and disability residential support services
- people working in long-term residential care homes
- older Māori and Pacific people cared for by their whānau
- the people living with and caring for older Māori and Pacific people.
People living in the Counties Manukau DHB area who are at higher risk
There are many border operations and MIQ facilities in the Counties Manukau DHB area. We need to protect those living there who are at the greatest risk of getting sick or dying from COVID-19.
This includes people in one or more of the following groups:
Where the Counties Manukau DHB area covers
Group 3 – People who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19
Estimated start date: May 2021
How many people this includes: around 1.7 million people
People living in the rest of New Zealand who are at higher risk
We need to protect older people, those with certain underlying health conditions and disabilities who are more likely to get very sick if they catch COVID-19.
This includes people who fall within one or more of the following groups:
- people aged 65 or older
- disabled people
- pregnant people (any trimester)
- have a relevant underlying health condition
- people living in custodial settings.
Underlying health conditions
At this stage, underlying health conditions include:
- serious and chronic respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- chronic kidney/renal disease
- coronary heart conditions
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- cancer, excluding basal and squamous skin cancers if not invasive.
We’ll update this list as we review the latest evidence on which underlying health conditions could put people at a greater risk of getting very sick or dying if they catch COVID-19.
People living in custody
This group includes everyone in New Zealand who is an adult living in custodial settings, eg people in prison.
International evidence has shown that COVID-19 can spread quickly amongst people in custody.
Group 4 – General population
Estimated start date: July 2021
How many people this includes: around 2 million people
The remaining general population aged 16 and over will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine in the second half of 2021.