Get in the know

COVID-19 is here so what we do to keep our whānau and communities safe is really important. Getting vaccinated helps protect ourselves and each other. It means we'll be able to get back to doing the things we love, faster.

Video Link:

How does the vaccine work?

The vaccine works like other vaccines. It teaches the immune system to recognise and fight the virus.

It can’t give you the disease because it does not contain the virus, or a dead or inactivated virus, or anything that can affect our DNA.

The vaccine is gone completely from your body within a few days, leaving your immune system ready for action if COVID-19 comes near you.

How were COVID-19 vaccines created so quickly?

It took a global effort to create the COVID-19 vaccines. But we didn’t start from scratch. Similar research into another virus (known as SARS) was already underway.

Other things helped.

  • Large amounts of funding were invested in research and manufacturing.
  • New technology was available.
  • Researchers, scientists and manufacturers around the world worked together.

As a result, the vaccines could be made faster, while still making sure they went through all the safety checks.

Manurewa Marae Vaccine Centre

What will happen when I get the vaccine?

  • You will be asked to provide your details and to give consent.
  • A fully trained vaccinator will give you the vaccine in your upper arm.
  • You will need to stay for 15 minutes after being vaccinated.
  • The vaccine and booster shots are free.
  • Some mild side effects are common and are a sign your body is learning to fight the virus. Visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website for further information about common side effects.
People getting vaccinated

Will getting a booster shot make me more protected from Omicron?

Data is emerging that a booster shot provides better protection against the Omicron variant. While two doses provide some protection against severe illness from Omicron, a booster is likely to offer greater protection against passing COVID-19 to others and reduces the likelihood  of becoming seriously ill and requiring hospitalisation. Read more about getting a vaccine booster on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

How effective is the Pfizer vaccine?

Evidence currently shows the effectiveness of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine against illness due to Delta is about 88%, and the protection against hospitalisation due to Delta is about 96%. Data is emerging that a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides better protection against the Omicron variant. While two doses provide some protection against severe disease from Omicron, a booster is likely to offer greater protection against passing COVID-19 to others, and reduce the chance of more serious illness. Read more here.


When can I get vaccinated?

Everyone aged 5 and over can get the vaccine now. 

All doses of the vaccine are FREE.  To book for your tamariki and whānau, we recommend ringing the COVID-19 Healthline 0800 28 29 26. For current walk-in centres, check the Karawhiua mapping tool. Find a vaccination centre near you here.

How does the traffic light system work?

The traffic light system is designed to keep our communities safe and contain the spread of COVID-19. Getting fully vaccinated gives us much more freedom under this new system at Red, Orange and Green.

It’s important to know the setting in your region, or any region you’re travelling to, and what you need to do to keep you and your whānau safe.

Click here to find out what the traffic light setting is in a region and what you need to do at Red, Orange or Green.

Many iwi have already put together COVID-19 response plans for their hapū and marae. Guidelines developed to support marae to make decisions about the safety and wellbeing of their whānau, hapū and iwi can be found here

How do vaccine passes affect me and my whānau?

My Vaccine Pass is an official record of your COVID-19 vaccination status. The pass is compulsory for some jobs. Many shops, gyms, marae, or events also require you to have My Vaccine Pass. If you intend to travel overseas, you will need to apply for a vaccination certificate as proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status. Learn more about vaccine passes and certificates here.

Are My Vaccine Passes still required?

From Tuesday April 5, businesses are not required to see your My Vaccine Pass.

However, businesses that are currently using My Vaccine Pass can choose to keep that system if they want.

What are Iwi and Māori doing to protect their communities?

Find out what iwi and Māori organisations are doing around the motu to combat COVID-19 and where you can go to get support.  Visit Te Puni Kōkiri's portal