The Pfizer Covid-19 bivalent vaccine will be rolled out to all people aged 30 and over, health minister Ayesha Verrall has announced.
The bivalent vaccine provides protection against the original strain of the Covid-19 coronavirus and also against the omicron strains causing most Covid-19 infections now.
The bivalent booster will replace the current monovalent booster, and the rollout will occur in two stages.
From March 1, the bivalent vaccine will be available to everyone who is eligible for a booster. Those groups are people who have received their first vaccine doses but have not yet received a booster, and people at high risk who have not yet received their second booster.
From April 1, the bivalent booster will be available to everyone aged 30 and over, regardless of how many doses they’ve already had.
Bookings will be available through the usual channels, including Book My Vaccine.
Verrall said the decision to restrict the booster to over-30s was based on the fact that older people are more at risk from Covid-19.
“For people aged between 16-29, they can discuss [it with their doctor] and get it on a prescription basis,” she said.
“We’re also planning for older New Zealanders and those most at risk of getting sick to get a flu jab at the same time as their Covid-19 booster. This will be part of a ‘one and done’ approach to help people stay well this winter,” she added.