Covid-19 Vaccination Roll Out

Kia hiwa rā! Kia hiwa rā!

The COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is currently underway in Aotearoa. The vaccine is available to everyone over the age of 16 – it is free, and it is being rolled out in four stages this year.

The roll out programme in Whanganui and neighbouring rohe is a collaborative effort by Māori health leaders, Te Oranganui Trust, Whanganui District Health Board, Whanganui Regional Health Service, Hauora-ā-Iwi, National Hauora Coalition.

There is a lot of dodgy information out there about the vaccine. It is our individual responsibility as whānau, hapū and iwi to make sure we are accessing reliable information from trusted sources.

We have created this page to provide you and your whānau with reliable information to make informed decisions about the vaccine.

So, how does the vaccine work?

The vaccine that we have secured in Aotearoa is called Pfizer. There is enough of it in the country for all adults to be immunised. We will need two doses of the vaccine, three-weeks apart, for it to work properly.

The vaccine works by teaching the body’s immune system to recognise pathogens (disease-causing organisms) without causing illness to the body’s immune system. It then remembers this pathogen and when/if the infection occurs at a later date, the body will fight the infection faster.

The Pfizer vaccine does not contain the live virus, so it cannot give you COVID-19.

How were the COVID-19 vaccines created both safely and quickly?

Creating the COVID-19 vaccines took a global effort. When the virus kicked off early last year, experts from around the world united to take on the challenge of creating a vaccine.

But researchers did not start from scratch. Similar research was already well underway for similar diseases.

As a result, the vaccines could be made faster, whilst still ensuring they went through all the safety checks.

Before being used in Aotearoa, the vaccine was also approved by Medsafe, who are responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in Aotearoa.

Medsafe will only approve a vaccine for use in Aotearoa once they are confident it complies with international standards and local requirements for quality, safety, and effectiveness.

How effective is the vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine is proven to be up to 95% effective after two doses.

That means that out of one hundred people, as many as 95 will be fully protected against the virus.

In rare cases, people may be able to catch the disease after getting the vaccine, as it can take a few weeks for your body’s immune system to build up its defenses.

People who are vaccinated are far less likely to fall seriously ill if they catch COVID-19.

Who is getting vaccinated first?

The vaccination programme will be rolled out over four stages, prioritising people most at risk of harm if they get the virus.

Stages Who When
Group 1 Border and MIQ employers and employees and the people they live with.  February - March
Group 2

Protect our high-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places, including older Māori and Pacific people cared for by whānau (and the people they live with and their carers). 

Any person who is aged 65+ or has a relevant underlying health condition4 or disability living in the Counties Manukau DHB area.

March - May
Group 3 Protect the people who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19

People in New Zealand aged 65+, people with relevant underlying health conditions, and disabled people. Also adults in custodial settings
May onwards
Group 4 Our general population aged 16 and over. July onwards

The vaccine has already been rolled out to border and MIQ workers, and their households. The focus now in our rohe is high-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places.

You will be advised when it is your turn to have your vaccination. If you are unsure call your health provider.

How do I get the vaccine?

It is still fairly early days for the vaccine roll out. Information on how to book your COVID-19 vaccination will become available shortly.

There will be a range of places and different options to make getting a vaccine as easy as possible.

These will include Māori and Pasifika providers, GPs, pop-up centres, medical and hauora centres, community clinics, larger-scale events.

Te Oranganui Trust (Iwi Health Authority) will also be administering vaccinations in Whanganui and neighbouring rohe.

The current priority in the Whanganui rohe is vaccinating our frontline workers and people living in high-risk places for catching the virus.

The local COVID-19 vaccine rollout group is made up of Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB), Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN), Hauora ā Iwi, the National Hauora Coalition and Māori health services.

What happens when you get the vaccine?

You will be asked to provide your details, and give consent.

A fully-trained vaccinator will give you the vaccine in your upper arm. You will need to stay for 20 minutes.

Some mild side-effects are common, and are a sign your body’s learning to fight the virus. You should receive a pamphlet outlining possible side effects and what to expect.

Your health provider will also book you in for your second appointment.

Is it safe to take the COVID-19 vaccine when hapū or breastfeeding?

Experts believe it is as safe for pregnant people as everyone else.

It is safe to breastfeed after you have been vaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine doesn’t contain the live virus, so can't give you or your baby COVID-19.

Talk to your Lead Maternity Carer before you have the vaccine to get the right information for you and your baby.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine roll out:

Te Oranganui COVID-19 vaccine information

Unite Against COVID-19 vaccine roll out

Whanganui District Health Board 



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