Pfizer continues to be the main COVID-19 vaccine used in New Zealand but AstraZeneca is available for people aged 18 and older who cannot have the Pfizer vaccine or people who want to have a different COVID-19 vaccine.
AstraZeneca is a two-dose viral vector COVID-19 vaccine, with a 4 to 12-week gap between dose 1 and dose 2.
AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses will be available at selected vaccination sites and people can book in for an appointment to receive it from 26 November on Book my vaccine.
If people are interested in having the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, IMAC recommends that they discuss this with their GP who can consider any adverse reactions they have had to vaccines previously, and discuss the benefits of vaccination and risks of potential adverse reactions for AstraZeneca. The GP can provide a prescription and a consent form.
The selected clinics that can provide AstraZeneca will also be able to offer prescriptions and consent forms on-site if people prefer to go directly to a clinic rather than via their general practice.
Written consent is required for all AstraZeneca doses, and a prescription is required when AstraZeneca is given as a mixed schedule with another COVID-19 vaccine. The reason for this is that a mixed schedule is ‘off-label usage. While there are not expected to be any safety concerns with using a mixed schedule, it does not yet have Medsafe approval.
The IMAC training course on AstraZeneca is available by logging in to the IMAC learning management system (link below).
Please find all relevant information relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine here.
IMAC information and guidance:
Ministry of Health documents: