Latest News

Time between doses of COVID-19 vaccine extended

August 16, 2021 | Covid-19

From August 12th, the standard gap between the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be 6 weeks.

Moving to a longer gap enables more people to have their first dose of the vaccine sooner. This is an important part of New Zealand being prepared for a possible outbreak of the more infectious Delta variant of the virus.

If you have already had your two doses closer together than six-weeks, you have received great protection against COVID-19. Early research shows that an extended gap between doses of the Pfizer vaccine also gives a robust immune response.

If you have vaccinations booked that are less than six weeks apart, you can keep your second appointment or choose to change it. For example, people with specific clinical treatment plans (such as those about to commence immunosuppressive treatment) or those at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 like border workers may be advised to have their doses with a shorter gap. The two doses must be given at least 21 days apart.

We also know people travelling overseas may require their doses sooner. This is okay too – it’s better to get two doses of the vaccine than to travel without being fully vaccinated.

The important thing is that you get two doses to be fully vaccinated.

The vaccine rollout is on track to make the vaccine available to everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over by the end of the year.
To make or change a booking, go to or phone the COVID Vaccine Healthline on 0800 28 29 26. From today, new bookings will default to six-weeks between first and second doses. If you’ve booked with your GP or pharmacy and want to change your appointment, contact them.

Group 4 age bands opening sooner
Increasingly, the Group 4 age bands are opening as more vaccination sites open (including many general practices and pharmacies). So far, more than 2 million doses of the vaccine have been delivered, with more than 800,000 people fully vaccinated.

Upcoming age band openings:
50+, from 13 August
40+, from 18 August
30+, from 25 August
16+, from 1 September

Article adapted from: Time between doses of COVID-19 vaccine extended | Unite against COVID-19 (