COVID-19 is still in our hapori. Here are some answers to common pātai whānau have about getting a booster.

Having pātai or concerns is natural. It's important to get different views so you can make the best decision for you and your whānau. Have a kōrero with your whānau, kaumātua, hauora provider or doctor.

Ngā pātai mō te kano ārai whakakaha Questions about boosters


We’ve put together a helpful Keeping up to date with boosters factsheet. You can download this from our resources page.


What is a booster?

Boosters are a key part of our protection against COVID-19. They give us an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to boost our immunity against the virus. This helps maintain our protection, which drops over time.

When can I get one?

You have to get your primary COVID-19 vaccinations first. Then you will have to wait three months. If you are 16 or 17, you will have to wait six months.

To ensure you are as protected as possible against any new outbreaks of COVID-19 or variants, try to get your booster as soon as you are eligible.

How long do I have to wait after I’ve had COVID-19?

If you’ve had COVID-19, you need to wait three months after you tested positive before you can get your booster.

Can I get a second booster?

Any Māori aged 40 and over can get a second booster. Many of our pakeke and kaumātua don’t know this or aren’t sure about getting it, so kōrero with them about what is holding them back.

Other people who can get a second booster include any whānau aged 16 and over who:

  • Are severely immunocompromised
  • Have complex needs and live in a disability or aged care facility
  • Have a medical condition that increases their risk to COVID-19, like diabetes or heart disease
  • Work as hauora, aged care or disability kaimahi and are over 30.

Pacific whānau aged 40 and over and all New Zealanders aged 50 and over can also get a second booster.

You can read more about medical conditions on the Manatu Hauora website.

COVID-19 vaccine: Boosters

How do boosters help me if I’m immunocompromised?

If you or your whānau members are immunocompromised, you can get up to three primary doses and two booster doses. These will help keep your immunity as high as possible and defend you from becoming seriously māuiui and needing to go to hospital if you get COVID-19.

How long do I have to wait to get my second booster?

If you’re eligible for it, you’ll need to wait six months after you get your first booster. 

Can tamariki get a booster?

Kāo, tamariki under 16 can’t get a booster.

Where can I get a booster?

Getting a booster is easy. They’re available across the motu from your hauora provider, doctor and pharmacies. Use our online map to find a kaupapa Māori clinic where you can get a booster near you. 

Where to get a vax or test 

Why get a booster?

Your primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine protect you against the virus, but this protection drops over time. The booster gives you ongoing defence against becoming seriously māuiui because of COVID-19. Even if you are healthy, COVID-19 could send you to hospital or you may need to take extended time off work or away from whānau.

When you have the best defences in place for you, it helps protect our wider whānau also. Some of them could get seriously māuiui from COVID-19. By getting a booster, you reduce the chances of passing COVID-19 to the people you care about or spreading it through your hapori.

If COVID-19 is already widespread in Aotearoa, why do I need to get a booster?

Getting a booster boosts our own immunity and helps us stop the spread of COVID-19 to places where we don’t want it to go, like our kura, whānau who are at risk, or our kaumātua. It’s true. COVID-19 is in our hapori. But we still have the power to protect the ones we love.

Does the booster work against new variants of COVID-19?

Āe. Since COVID-19 turned up in Aotearoa, we’ve seen many new COVID-19 variants make their way into our hapori. Having a booster helps protect you against these variants. 

Is the booster too new and has it been tested enough?

The booster has been available since 2021. It has been tested to the same levels of safety as any other medicine in Aotearoa, so you can have the same confidence that you have with your flu jab and other vaccinations.

What are the chances I’ll get side effects from getting a booster?

The chances of getting side effects are very low. Most people don’t get any side effects. If you do get some, they will probably be very mild. 

The kind of mild side effects you could get include feeling tired or achy, having chills or a fever, or swelling on the skin where you get injected. These usually only last a few days after you get your booster.

Serious side effects are extremely rare. You should immediately report any chest pain, dizziness or feeling faint to your doctor or hauora provider.

What if I don’t want to put toxins in my body?

It’s understandable to only want to put natural things in your body.

However, the COVID-19 vaccine leaves our body within a few days, leaving our immune system trained and ready to protect us from COVID-19.

The booster doesn’t contain the COVID-19 virus and it does not interfere with our DNA. 

Can you get COVID-19 more than once?

Āe. You can get COVID-19 again. It can affect you differently each time. If it was pretty gentle the first time, it could affect you severely the next time you get it. No reira, it’s important to stay prepared. Kia pakari tonu ai, whānau. 

Do I have to pay to get a booster?

Kāo, boosters are free throughout Aotearoa.

Are there any government mandates for getting a booster?

Kāo. All government COVID-19 vaccine mandates ended on 27 September 2022. It’s your choice to get boosted against COVID-19 and it’s up to you to make the best decision for yourself, your whānau and your community.