Vaccination - Te Arawa - COVID-19 Response

Vaccination

Now is the time to take action. The COVID-19 is critical to protecting our community and returning to normal. It’s free and available to everyone aged 5 years and over.

A number of different partners have come together to support the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine in our rohe. This is a by Māori, for Māori partnership to increase the number of vaccinations that can be delivered for Māori and all of the vulnerable people in our community.

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved by Medsafe. Medsafe is the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority and it’s responsible for the regulation of therapeutic products in New Zealand. Medsafe only grants consent for a vaccine to be used in New Zealand once it is satisfied the vaccine is safe and effective enough to use.

Protecting our whānau

Māori are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and it’s imperative that we have a good plan in place to protect our whānau. Our goal is to ensure whānau have all the information they need to make an informed decision about the vaccine.

We are providing support for the rollout to ensure all whānau who want the vaccine, can get one.

Tamariki aged 5-11 years

The COVID-19 vaccination is an important way to keep our tamariki safe while the virus is in our community. While COVID-19 generally has milder effects in children, with symptoms being similar to a cold, some children may become very sick. Like adults, if your tamariki catch the virus, they could transmit to other people.

From 17 January, tamariki aged 5 to 11 can receive a paediatric (smaller) dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Tamariki need two doses of the vaccine to be best protected and it’s recommended these are at least eight weeks apart.

The Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds has been through extensive clinical trials with children in this age group and the side effects reported were mild and didn’t last long. The child Pfizer vaccine has gone through the same approval process as other routine child vaccines. No clinical trials were skipped and no corners were cut in the testing of its safety.

Parents or caregivers can go to a walk-in clinic with their tamariki or use BookMyVaccine.nz to book their vaccination.

You can also call the COVID-19 Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am–8pm, 7 days a week) to make an appointment or to talk to a trained advisor who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Tamariki aged 12-15 years

Young people aged 12 to 15 are eligible for a full dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

To be fully protected, 12 to 15-year-olds need 2 doses of the vaccine, with a gap of three weeks or more between the first and second dose.

While young people aged 12 and over have the right to give their own consent, it is recommended they discuss vaccination with their whānau or a trusted support person.

Booster

People over the age of 18 can get a free booster if it has been more than three months since their second dose.

Rangatahi aged 16 or 17 can get their booster if it has been more than six months since their second dose.

The booster vaccine boosts immunity for COVID-19 and will better protect against the Omicron variant. While two doses provide some protection against severe disease, a booster is likely to better prevent passing COVID-19 onto others, and reduce the chance of getting very sick.

Some immunocompromised people may have had a third primary dose to help protect their health. This is different to the booster, and if it’s been three months since the last dose, they can now get a booster as well.

If you are hapū, aged 18 years and older, it is recommended you receive a booster vaccine to help protect you and your pēpi against the effects of COVID-19. The booster vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy, at least three months after the second dose. You should discuss the timing of a vaccine booster with your midwife, obstetrician or general practitioner.

You can now get a second COVID-19 booster if you’re 50 years or older (recommended if you’re Māori or Pasifika) severely immunocompromised, a health, aged-care or disability worker over the age of 30.

If you’re not sure when you had your last vaccination, you can log in to My Covid Record to check the dates.

Vaccination information

We have prepared a number of information sheets and FAQs for whānau who may have questions about getting the vaccine. Please read these and share them with your whānau. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect our whānau from COVID-19.

Our information is sourced from the Ministry of Health. While we endeavour to update it frequently, please see the Ministry website here for the most recent updates.

Updated information is also on our Facebook page.

Flu Vaccine

This year, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated against the flu. With our borders open again, the risk of being exposed to new types of the flu virus is high.

Free flu shots are available for everyone over the age of 65, those at risk of becoming seriously ill, or have underlying conditions.

Tamariki aged 3-12 years and people with serious mental health or addiction needs are also eligible for a free flu vaccine.

Flu shots are available by booking through your local GP or local chemist, or visit our drive-through clinic during opening hours. Learn more about our drive-through clinic here