Surviving COVID-19

Jason Collier shares his experience of catching COVID-19. His nephew, who is on the fence about getting vaccinated, makes his choice.

Video Link:

Te rongoā āraimate KOWHEORI-19 The COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines are an important tool to keep our whānau and communities safe. They give us the protection we need so we can keep doing the things we love.

Te whawhai i te huaketo Fighting the virus

The vaccine teaches our immune system to recognise and fight the virus. It can’t give you the COVID-19 because it doesn’t contain the virus. It doesn’t affect your DNA. The vaccine leaves your body within a few days, leaving your immune system ready to respond if you get COVID-19.

If you want to, you can get both the COVID-19 and flu vaccinations at the same time. The regular flu vaccination does not provide immunity to or protection from COVID-19.

You can use our online map tool to find a vax from a kaupapa Māori clinic near you.

Find a clinic

You can also book a vax by calling the Healthline on 0800 28 29 26.

Te tūkanga o te whiwhi rongoā āraimate The vaccination process

Pfizer is the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for use in Aotearoa. You will need two doses.

Some immunocompromised whānau need three doses because their bodies don’t produce a strong enough response after two doses.

For information about the eligibility criteria for severely immunocompromised, visit the Ministry of Health website.

View the eligibility criteria

Most people need to wait three weeks between doses. For children aged 5 to 11, the recommended gap between doses is eight weeks.

When you go to get vaccinated:

  • you will be asked to provide your details and give consent
  • a fully trained vaccinator will give you the vaccine in your upper arm
  • you will need to stay for at least 15 minutes after being vaccinated
  • some mild side effects are common and are a sign your body is learning to fight the virus.

For more information about side effects, visit the Side effects and reactions page on the Unite against COVID-19 website.

COVID-19: Pfizer vaccine side effects and reactions

Te okanga taunaki Booster shots for more protection

COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease. If you’re fit and healthy, you can still get COVID-19 and pass it on to someone else who may become seriously ill. 

A booster shot provides more protection against COVID-19. Whānau 50+ and immunocompromised whānau can get two boosters.

Ka noho matatapu ō mōhiohio whaiaro Your privacy is protected

The information you provide when you get vaccinated will be recorded by Ministry of Health. Only those people with a role in managing and administrating the COVID-19 vaccine programme can see, add or change your information.

For more information, visit the COVID Immunisation Register on the Ministry of Health website.

COVID Immunisation Register

Ētahi atu ara whakahaumaru Other ways to stay safe against COVID-19

Even if you are vaccinated, you should still keep up good hygiene practices.

  • Wear a face mask in public indoor places, like shops or hauora clinics.
  • Staying up-to-date with KOWHEORI-19 vaccinations.
  • Get your booster. Whānau aged 50+ and immunocompromised whānau can get two boosters.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly. This includes things you touch often, like door handles, light switches and phones.
  • Open windows to increase fresh air flow inside.
  • If you are sick, stay home and get tested for KOWHEORI-19.
  • If you test positive for KOWHEORI-19 and are concerned about your hauora, call your doctor or Healthline. Don’t try to tough it out if you get seriously ill.

For more information and advice about the COVID-19 vaccination, call Healthline on 0800 28 29 26.

COVID-19 vaccinations and tests are available across the motu. You can use our online map tool to find a kaupapa Māori clinic near you.

Find a clinic

He pātai? Got a question?

You can find more information about vaccinations on our Questions and answers page. 

Questions and answers

For more information and advice about getting vaccinated, call Healthline on 0800 28 29 26