Pfizer continues to be the main COVID-19 vaccine used in New Zealand. AstraZeneca is an alternative COVID-19 vaccine offered for people aged 18 and older who cannot have the Pfizer vaccine or people who want to have a different COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, is a two-dose messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, with at least 21 days between dose 1 and dose 2. The vaccine does not contain any live virus or any parts taken from a dead virus. 

AstraZeneca is a two-dose viral vector COVID-19 vaccine, with a 4 to 12-week gap between dose 1 and dose 2. These types of vaccines use harmless viruses as a mode of transport for genetic material to be delivered into our cells. The virus vector used in this vaccine has been modified so that it cannot replicate. It is a non-live vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen is a single-dose vaccine that protects against COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

Find out more about these vaccines through the ‘COVID-19 vaccines in NZ’ area of the website or the links below.

The Comirnaty mRNA (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine:

Comirnaty vaccine overview

How Comirnaty is made and what it contains

How the Comirnaty vaccine works and the protection it provides

The AstraZeneca vaccine:

General information and resource links for AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca Vaccine Overview

How AstraZeneca is made and what it contains

How the AstraZeneca vaccine works and the protection it provides

AstraZeneca vaccine and responses in pregnant/breastfeeding women:

Potential vaccine responses

Other COVID-19 vaccines:

COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen

Last updated: 08 December 2021