The Dominion Post - 2021-11-26


Who needs a booster, and how to get it


Kate Green

Kiwis can book their booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine from today, and start receiving them from November 29, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. But who does this affect? More people than you’d think, it turns out. Who can get a booster? Booster doses will be available free to anyone in New Zealand aged 18 or older who completed their two-dose course more than six months ago. ‘‘There are currently 144,000 people in New Zealand who have been vaccinated for six months, and 455,847 who will be by the end of the year,’’ Hipkins said. Increasing the vaccination coverage of first and second doses, particularly for Mā ori and Pacific people, remained the Government’s number one priority, he said. Healthcare and border workers will be a priority group. ‘‘We will also be making sure older people, including people in residential care, have good access,’’ Hipkins said. What about immunocompromised people? There is a difference between booster shots and third doses. Some immunocompromised people qualified for a third dose, which is separate to the rollout of booster shots for the general population. Severely compromised people are not considered fully vaccinated until they have had three doses, so anyone who has received a third dose will still be eligible for a booster six months after that. What if I got my shots overseas? People will be able to access boosters whether they received their earlier doses here or overseas. What vaccine will be used? The Pfizer vaccine will be used for boosters, regardless of which vaccine was used for earlier doses. Do I have to get one? While boosters are strongly recommended for those who received their second dose more than six months ago, they are not mandatory. They are not required to get a vaccine certificate for access to events, gyms, churches, hairdressers, and other services and premises. Where do I get one? You will be able to use the bookmyvaccine website to book a booster dose from today. Vaccination clinics, pharmacies and GPs will be administering them from the end of Monday, November 29.


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