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Covid Vaccine – Answering Common Questions by those in Group 3

July 27, 2021 | Covid-19

Here are some of the answers to common questions about accessing the vaccine for those in Group 3. These are not specific to MS. These answers have come from the Ministry of Health’s public information.


Q. Do I need to show proof of Disability?

A. No, You won’t need to provide proof of disability
Disabled people can access the vaccine as part of Group 2 or Group 3. The Ministry are not expecting people to provide proof of disability, such as a medical certificate. This means you can decide yourself whether you live with a disability, using the definition provided on their website. Everyone will get access to the COVID-19 vaccine over time, so you’ll have an opportunity to be vaccinated regardless of whether you choose to self-identify as disabled or not


Q. I’m a family member or carer of a person with a disability when can I get my vaccine?

A. Carers of people with a disability, family and whanau are in Group 3
People caring for people with a disability, including family and whanau of disabled people, are in Group 3. It doesn’t matter if the person they are caring for isn’t currently eligible for the vaccine (for example, if they’re under 16 years).


Q. I have complex health needs and struggle to communicate these what can I do? 

A. A Health Passport may help you
Letting health workers know what you need can be hard, especially if you have complex needs. The Health and Disability Commissioner is working with hospitals around the country to introduce the Health Passport.

You can order or download your copy and update it with information about how people can support you and communicate with you. It’s the sort of thing you could take if you’re going to a hospital or vaccination centre, or when you use other health and disability services, such as visiting your GP or meeting a new carer.

Visit the Health and Disability website to find out about the Health Passport, find guidance about completing it and order a copy or download one to print and complete: Health Passport – Health and Disability Commissioner (


Q. I have heard that the Janssen vaccine is also available is it right for me?

A. Medsafe provisionally approves Janssen COVID-19 vaccine but it is not currently available in NZ
Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for those 18 years and over. This does not mean that the Government have committed to using the Janssen vaccine in New Zealand but having the option increases choices and gives more flexibility if we need it. Cabinet is still to consider the best options for use of this single-dose vaccine and a decision is expected in August.

Should it be available in NZ, MSNZ will update our information about the Janssen Vaccine for people with MS from the currently available data.


Q. How do I report side effects?

A. You can report these online or via Healthline.

Like all medicines, the vaccine may cause side effects in some people. Most side effects are mild and don’t last long. People who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 are asked to wait for 20 minutes so medical staff can check there is no serious allergic reaction. Vaccinators are well trained to manage any adverse reaction, including anaphylaxis. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to any vaccine or injection in the past, talk to your vaccinator.

If you’re unsure about your symptoms or if they get worse, call Healthline: 0800 358 5453

If you do feel unwell after you leave the vaccination site, please use this form to report all suspected adverse effects for COVID-19 vaccines that you are made aware of: COVID-19 Vaccine: Report an adverse reaction

You do not have to be certain that the vaccine caused the event to report.


Q. Are there more vaccinators coming?

A. Ministry of Health are training more COVID-19 vaccinators
A recent Government change to the Medicines Regulations means more people in the health and disability sector can now undertake the necessary training to become vaccinators. This provides a much-needed boost to vaccinator numbers and diversity in the COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.


Q. Can my child who is under 16 get a vaccination?

A. Not currently but this undergoing review for 12-15 year olds
Medsafe has given provisional approval of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for young people aged 12 to 15 years. Cabinet is waiting on guidance about when and how to use the Pfizer vaccine for those people within the vaccine rollout. Until then, people aged 12 to 15 cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine. It will not be mandatory for young people to get vaccinated.


Read all of our Covid-19 related articles here.