New Zealand Vaccine Update, September 2021

Vaccine doses pass 4 million

At midnight on 8 September 2021, more than 4 million vaccine doses had been given – 2.7 million first doses and 1.3 million second doses. That means 33% of the population are now fully vaccinated. View the full breakdown of vaccine data here.

Everyone over the age of 12 can now receive their vaccine

All Kiwis aged over 12 years old can now get a COVID-19 vaccine. You don’t need to wait for an invitation to book either – there are several ways to secure a spot:

Book online

Booking online through Book My Vaccine is the quickest way to make your vaccination appointments Please include just one person’s details per booking. Currently, you can book online in English and te reo Māori.

Book by phone

If you’d prefer to book by phone, you can call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26.

All calls are free and the team are available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. You can ask for an interpreter if you need one.

Tip: When you call it’s a good idea to have your NHI (National Health Index) number ready to make the booking process quicker. You can find your NHI number on a prescription, x-ray or test result or a letter from the hospital.

Your local healthcare provider might be able to help

Many health care providers are also giving COVID-19 vaccinations and taking bookings directly. Check with your doctor, local pharmacy, medical and Hauora centre, marae, church or community clinic.

Find out more about booking you vaccine on the Ministry of Health website

More vaccines ordered to cope with increased demand

Last week, Jacinda Ardern announced that the government has bought 750,000 extra Pfizer doses to help keep up with increased demand for vaccinations.

This will leave New Zealand with extra vaccines at the end of October, but Ardern indicated some of these would be sent to the Pacific to help with other countries’ rollouts.

New Zealand is currently vaccinating about 1.5 per cent of its population every day, a rate faster than most other Western nations have reached.

Myocarditis: rare side effect of Pfizer vaccine explained

A woman’s death in August has been linked to a rare side effect of the Pfizer vaccine. The Covid-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board advised the Ministry of Health that the woman, who was in her 50s, had developed myocarditis, a severe side effect, after receiving the Pfizer jab. This is the first recorded death in New Zealand linked to the vaccine.

The Ministry of Health recognises myocarditis as a rare side effect of the vaccine affecting every 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000 people.

Yet, the risk of myocarditis is more common in people who have been infected with COVID-19. In fact, recent studies by US and Israeli researchers have found that people are more than six times more likely to get myocarditis as a result of catching COVID-19 than after vaccination.

The benefits of getting the vaccine greatly outweigh the possible negative side effects. COVID-19 Vaccine Independent Safety Monitoring Board Chair Dr John Tait reassured health officials are still confident in the use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in New Zealand. 

Photo credit: Ivan Diaz on Unsplash

About Mason Head

Content Creator and Publication Lead at Eldernet