People who are severely immunocompromised are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 and might not produce a sufficiently strong immune response after two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group has recommended that people aged 12 and older who are severe immunocompromised receive a third primary dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The third primary dose is now available, but should be given at least 8 weeks after the second dose.
The eligibility criteria to access a third primary dose is complex, and applies to only the group of people who are severely immunocompromised, for example people who were undergoing immunosuppressive therapies prior to or at the time of their first or second dose.
People who meet the eligibility criteria will need to be prescribed a third dose by their GP or specialist and present the script when accessing the third primary dose
The eligibility criteria are available on the Ministry of Health website.
A primary third dose is different to a booster dose for the general population. The Ministry is reviewing research as it becomes available and expects to make a decision about booster doses for the general public in the coming months.
Not yet vaccinated?
Disabled people and whānau can call the Covid Vaccination Healthline 0800 28 29 26 and push ‘2’ to receive tailored advice and support for booking vaccination appointments including assistance with coordinating transport to and from the vaccination site and arranging the any support and/or accommodations needed during the appointment.
Calls are free 8 am – 8 pm Monday to Friday. Team members answering are either disabled people themselves or are allies.
As this disability team service from the Covid vaccination helpline is new, DPA would like to hear feedback about their experience from anybody who uses the service.
There is a new Easy Read translation about the new Disability Support team available on the 0800 COVID Vaccination Healthline:
Easy Read Covid Vaccination Healthline: Disability support team (PDF)
Easy Read Covid Vaccination Healthline: Disability support team (Word)
The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) is now offering a free taxi service to and from a Covid-19 vaccination centre or drive-through for people having their first dose who don’t drive or use other forms of transport. The NRHCC are hoping to extend this service to GP and pharmacy providers once they have a better understanding of demand.
For people who are unable to leave their home and need a Covid-19 vaccination for either their first or second dose, NRHCC will organise an in-home vaccination.
People can register for either the taxi service of in-home vaccination by calling the Covid Vaccination Helpline on 0800 28 29 26 or emailing NRHCCVAXENQUIRIES@adhb.govt.nz.
Unable to be vaccinated due to a health condition?
We are hearing from from quite a few people who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons and are concerned about upcoming vaccine certificates and plans for certification to become a prerequisite for access to certain businesses and events.
Whether you are able to be vaccinated is something you will need to discuss with your doctor or specialist.
The Ministry of Health are looking at options for how they can record that people are unable to be vaccinated in the Covid Immunisation Record and how this would work in practice. We will let you know when we hear any further information around this.