COVID-19 vaccine updates for tāngata whaikaha and whānau

Preparing your loved one for vaccination and consent form

Parents and carers, here's how you can prepare a loved one who might need extra support and strategies to have a successful vaccination experience.

Explore Behavioural Service created some really helpful resources, like using the "First-Then" approach (eg "First we will go to Granny's, then we'll go to the vaccine centre"), social script and breathing exercises.

FYI, here's what the vaccine COVID-19 consent form looks like, which needs to be completed on the day the vaccine is received. 


Published 16 July 2021   




Support worker with client

Group 3 vaccinations underway 

While the country begins Group 3 vaccinations, Tāmaki Makaurau have been vaccinating older Māori and Pacific people and the over 65s for some time. All older Māori and whanau who live with them should have received a text or email invite. If they haven’t then they can call 0800 2892926 to book in for their vaccination.

Ministry of Health information says that Group 3 refers to those:

  • aged 65 or over (and their whanau who live with them)
  • with a relevant underlying health condition
  • who are disabled
  • are in a position of caring for a person with a disability
    who are pregnant (any trimester)
  • adults in a custodial setting.

The Covid-19 vaccinations are currently running 8% ahead of target with well over 500,000 doses given. There is well over a million people in Group 3 and the vaccination of these people will have to be paced – particularly because we have supply limitations until July when we begin to receive larger supply volumes from Pfizer.

If you are in Group 3 you don’t need to do anything right now - when it’s your turn to get the vaccine, your local District Health Board (DHB), your GP or other health provider will get in touch. Each DHB is taking an approach to Group 3 that works for their communities within the overall framework, and there will be some regional variation.

Everybody will have received an invitation to vaccinate by the end of July. No one will miss out and we have no Covid-19 in our communities.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website


Published 28 May 2021


Elderly man getting an injection on left arm.jpg

Making a decision about having the COVID-19 vaccine

Here is a simplified easy read information and pictures on making a decision about having the COVID-19 vaccine. It also includes a decision-making tool that you can fill in yourself.  

For more easy read information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Ministry of Health website


Published 28 May 2021



Making a decision about having the COVID-19 vaccine

Your COVID vaccine questions answered

"Where do I go to get the vaccine?"

"Who will contact me when it's my turn to get it?"

"Can I get the vaccine earlier for compassionate grounds?"

These are just some of the frequently asked questions about the vaccine roll out and the answers are on this flyer. 


Published 20 April 2020


Woman getting a plaster over her vaccine shot

Can I get the vaccine if I have underlying health conditions? 

At this stage, people with some underlying health conditions will be offered the vaccine as part of Group 3 (starting May 2021).

People with underlying health conditions who live in the Counties Manukau DHB area can be vaccinated as part of Group 2.

At this stage, underlying health conditions include:

  • serious and chronic respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • chronic kidney/renal disease
  • diabetes
  • coronary heart conditions
  • stroke
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • cancer, excluding basal and squamous skin cancers if not invasive.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website


20 April 2021

covid vaccine.jpg

Simple overview of COVID-19 vaccines and their safety, despite being developed so fast

“Why did it take so fast to create the vaccine?” is one of the most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s a video of Dr Ashley Bloomfield explaining clearly how we got there so fast.

Take time to watch Dr Rawiri provide advice on trusted information sources and recognising and avoiding misinformation.


Published 9 April 2021


Dr Bloomfield.JPG

Read up on COVID-19 vaccine info to help you plan and prepare

What to expect

This is a really simple before and after walk-through of the vaccination process.

Here is the full version of the “Getting your vaccine – What to expect” resource. 

After your immunisation

Really clear information and summary of likely side effects and safety measures or find out more by visiting the website.

Easy read, sign language, large print and audio

Alternate formats regarding COVID-19 vaccine


Published 9 April 2021


Unite against COVID-19

Online tool - identify which vaccine group you're in

An online tool which advises people to work out which vaccination group they are in is now available on the government's Covid-19 website.

Users answer a short series of questions about their health, location, occupation and life situation. The results tell them which of the four main vaccination groups they are in, and when they can expect to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

The tool can be used on mobile, desktop and tablet. It’s in the process of being translated into 24 languages.

This link provides a one page overview of the vaccine rollout, who, when and where.


Published 23 March 2021

covid vaccine.jpg

Vaccine roll out by groups

To support a smooth rollout of the vaccine, the population has been segmented into four main groups. Note: timings may overlap and dates may shift slightly.

  • Group 1 (February - March 2021)
    50,000 border and MIQ workers, and the people they live with.
  • Group 2 (February - May 2021)
    Approximately 480,000 frontline workers and people living in high-risk settings.
    Anyone living in the Counties-Manukau DHB area who is 65 years and older or who has an underlying health condition. This recognises the risk posed by the many border operations and MIQ facilities in this region.
  • Group 3 (May 2021 onward)
    Priority populations: people over 65 years or people with underlying health conditions or disabilities who are at higher risk of severe outcomes if they catch COVID-19 (approximately 1.7 million people).
  • Group 4 (second half of 2021)
    The remainder of the population - everyone over 16-years-old (approximately 2 million people).
    We are asking everyone in New Zealand to get vaccinated - it is the best way to protect your whānau, their lives and their livelihoods.

The relevant health conditions to get early access to the vaccine include coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/chronic respiratory conditions, kidney disease, cancer and women who are pregnant.


Published 16 March 2021


Whānau centred vaccine approach

Associate Minister for Health Peeni Henare confirmed that the timing and sequencing of the Covid vaccine programme has a strong focus on protecting Māori whānau. Click here for the roll out plan. 

He said the plan is simple, "first protect whānau most at risk of picking up the virus in their workplace, in doing so reducing the risk of future outbreaks and then protecting our elders who are most at risk of getting seriously ill if they get the virus".

“We know that our elder Māori and Pacific peoples are more likely to live with whānau rather than in an aged care facility. This is a by Māori for Māori approach to this component of our vaccine roll-out".

“When a kuia or koroua go to get vaccinated, their whānau members who live with them will also be able to be vaccinated at the same time – this whānau-centred approach means that an entire whānau can be vaccinated altogether and will help to keep our people safe".

If you’re wondering when you’ll be able to get your vaccine,  an online tool that helps whānau find out when they can get vaccinated will be launched shortly. It will describe the four broad groups and will take people through a series of questions to work out when it’ll be their turn.


Published 16 March 2021


What brand of vaccine are we getting in New Zealand?

At this stage, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the only
vaccine that has been approved by Medsafe as being safe and effective for use in New Zealand. 

The decision to make Pfizer New Zealand’s primary vaccine provider, was based on the fact the Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be about 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infection.

It also means all New Zealanders will have the chance to access the same vaccine.

The Government has guaranteed that every New Zealander will have access to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, after securing an additional 8.5 million doses. 

If you're curious about how COVID-19 vaccines work, visit for general information on COVID-19 vaccines. The resource is translated in several languages. 

Published 16 March 2021


Elderly man getting an injection on left arm.jpg

COVID-19 vaccine FAQs in nine Pacific languages 

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Ministry of Health ran a nationwide fono with the Pacific church and community leaders in early March.

At the fono, the Pacific community raised some of the most important COVID-19 vaccine questions they have. In response, a team of experts, including clinical teams from the Ministry of Health, have provided credible and easy to understand information to help people learn know more about the vaccine. 

The FAQ is available in English, Te Reo Māori, Cook Islands Māori, Vosa Vakaviti, Kiribati, Vagahau Niue, Fäeag Rotųam, Gagana Samoa, Te Gagana Tokelau, Lea Faka Tonga, Te Gana Tuvalu.


Reviewed 16 March 2021

Published 9 March 2021


Samoan men.jpg

FAQs for Pacific communities: COVID-19 and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunisation and vaccination

Many people in our communities are looking forward to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to protect them from getting and spreading COVID. If you still need more information before making a decision, please make sure to get them from a credible source. 

Here's a COVID and MMR FAQs (frequently asked questions) from the Ministry of Health especially created for our Pacific communities. 

The FAQs answers:

  • How can the COVID-19 vaccine be safe? It’s all happening so quickly.
  • If the COVID-19 vaccines work and be safe for Pacific people?
  • If it is safe to have the MMR vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

The Ministry of Health is also encouraging Pacific communities not to forget about the MMR vaccine. Numbers show Pasifika in New Zealand are about seven times more likely to catch measles. 

The Ministry of Health will publish the FAQ in other Pacific languages, and we'll make sure to share it here once it is available. 


Published 8 March 2021

Samoan men.jpg

Vaccine roll out plan

At this stage we understand that disabled people and support workers will be in the second group to receive the vaccine sometime between March-June 2021. More details will come. Here's the roll out sequence table. 

MOH has gathered an advisory group from within the disability community to help inform the rollout.

Visit for more information. 


Published 3 March 2021


COVID-19 vaccine fact sheets

If you're still a little unsure about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, it's best that you get information from reliable and credible sources. Here are some useful resources and fact sheets about COVID-19 vaccine. Find out:

  • what to expect before you get the COVID19 vaccine jab
  • what will happen after you get the jab
  • how the vaccine works 

Some of the fact sheets are in form or in other languages.


Published 3 March 2021

Unite against COVID-19

Vaccines: how safe and effective are they?

The much talked about and awaited COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in New Zealand. The first batch will be used for border and managed quarantine workers. Experts say that the vaccines provide a significant layer is protecting people from COVID-19. 

But some members of our community may still feel anxious about vaccinations, especially when they don't have the right information about it. 

There are some very relevant kōrero on Te Ao with Moana (Māori TV) on vaccines. In this story, clinical immunologists Dr Anthony Jordan and Dr Maia Brewerton join Dr Rawiri Jansen and Moana to explore why some whânau are nervous about COVID-19 and the vaccination.

There are lots of information out there about vaccines. Remember: vaccines are medicines. If you have any questions about them, talk to your GP or specialist. It's also important to look for information from credible online sources like the NZ Ministry of Health website, Immunisation Advisory Centre and the World Health Organisation


Published 17 February 2021


COVID-19 vaccine and disabled people

Planning is underway to make sure tangata whaikaha/disabled people, people with chronic illness and staff in residential care are all considered as part of the phased vaccine roll-out across New Zealand.


Published 9 February 2021

Elderly man getting an injection on left arm.jpg