Vaccine rollout plan confirmed

11 March 2021

We have a plan and a schedule to provide a free vaccine to everyone in New Zealand.

The plan follows yesterday's announcement, confirming everyone in New Zealand, who wants the vaccine, will receive both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Ministry of Health is working with Pfizer on a delivery schedule to ensure a smooth rollout as the vaccination programme ramps up.

The plan will be rolled out in stages as vaccine shipments arrive. It will focus first on those most at risk from being exposed to COVID-19 in their workplace. This is so we can reduce the risks of future community cases and lockdowns. The focus will then shift to protecting those most at risk of getting seriously ill if they get the virus.

To support a smooth rollout of the vaccine, the population has been segmented into four main groups. Note: timings may overlap and dates may shift slightly.

Group 1 (February - March 2021)

  • 50,000 border and MIQ workers, and the people they live with.

Group 2 (February - May 2021)

  • Approximately 480,000 frontline workers and people living in high-risk settings.
  • Anyone living in the Counties-Manukau DHB area who is 65 years and older or who has an underlying health condition. This recognises the risk posed by the many border operations and MIQ facilities in this region.

Group 3 (May 2021 onwards)

  • Priority populations: people over 65 years or people with underlying health conditions or disabilities who are at higher risk of severe outcomes if they catch COVID-19 (approximately 1.7 million people).

Group 4 (second half of 2021)

  • The remainder of the population - everyone over 16-years-old (approximately 2 million people).

We are asking everyone in New Zealand to get vaccinated - it is the best way to protect your whānau, their lives and their livelihoods.

More information about vaccines is on the Unite Against COVID-19 website

COVID-19 vaccine scams and misinformation
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout creates opportunities for online scammers and peddlers of misinformation to take advantage and disrupt the vaccine process.

There are international and local examples of scammers being opportunistic and looking to trick people into divulging financial and personal details.

The Government cyber security agency CERT NZ is working closely with other government agencies to try to stop these scams in their tracks.

Key things everyone should know are:

  • The vaccine is free and at no point will you ever be asked to pay for securing your place in the "queue".
  • Any communications about the vaccine will come from Unite Against COVID-19 and the Ministry of Health.
  • If you receive any emails out of the blue asking for financial and personal details it is likely to be a scam.
  • The best way you can help stop these scams affecting New Zealanders is to report them to CERT NZ, via its website.


Where to find trustworthy information about vaccines:
Unite Against COVID-19
Vaccine information from Unite Against COVID-19

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC)
IMAC is a nationwide organisation based at the School of Population Health at The University of Auckland. It provides independent, factual information based on international and New Zealand scientific research about vaccine-preventable diseases the benefits and risks of immunisation.
Vaccine information from IMAC

Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health leads New Zealand’s health and disability system, and has overall responsibility for the management and development of that system.
Vaccine information from the Ministry of Health.

Last updated: Thursday, March 11, 2021

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