COVID-19 Third Vaccine Dose and Booster Vaccines


19 Oct 2021

Following today’s 1pm COVID-19 Press Conference, The Ministry of Health has released key messaging regarding the third primary COVID vaccine dose and booster vaccine.

Please view the key messaging below and visit the Ministry of Health website for more information.

More information on individuals who are severely immunocompromised can be found here.

The Third Primary Dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Policy Statement and Clinical Guidance document can be found here.

Key Messages: Third Primary Dose and Booster Vaccines:  

  •   The COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group has recommended that individuals aged 12 and older with severe immunocompromise receive a third primary dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
  •  More information will be provided in the coming week about eligibility requirements and how to access a third primary dose.  
  • Individuals who are severely immunocompromised are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 and might not produce a sufficiently strong immune response after two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A third primary dose may be beneficial.  
  • The third primary dose is optional but recommended.  
  • There are specific criteria for who can qualify for a third primary dose, this includes individuals who were undergoing immunosupressive therapies prior to or at the time of their first or second dose.
  •  Information will be made available on the Ministry of Health website.   
  •  A primary third dose is different from a booster dose for the general population.  
  •  Under the current immunisation programme, you cannot receive a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine in New Zealand unless you qualify under the criteria for a third primary dose.  
  • The Ministry is reviewing the research as it becomes available and expects to make a decision about booster doses for the general public in the coming months.  
Last updated: 09 November 2021