AstraZeneca vaccine

Updated 28 February 2022

Ministry of Health reminder: AstraZeneca Vaccine prescription subsidy  

Consumers may seek consultation services from General Practitioners or Nurse Practitioners to gain advice on the suitability of the AstraZeneca vaccine for them. Should they wish to receive the vaccine, they will book themselves into a clinic offering this vaccination option using Book My Vaccine, or ringing Healthline.  

AstraZeneca is approved by Medsafe as a two-dose course, and as such does not require a prescription.  

If a consumer has become hesitant to receive a second primary dose of the Pfizer vaccine or a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and, wishes to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a substitute, this will require a prescription to reflect its “off-label” use as well as a written consent form. 

All consultations regarding the suitability of AstraZeneca will be subsidised at $60.  

The claiming conditions for this service requires there is:  

  • no charge/patient co-payment for this service, including issuing a prescription if required  
  • no claim for a GMS clawback 
  • no simultaneous claim against any other funding stream for this service.  

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is provided as an alternative to the Pfizer vaccine for people who are:  

  • unable to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, especially those who are required to be vaccinated by the Vaccination Order or their employer; or 
  • those hesitant to take an mRNA vaccine.  

 AstraZeneca booster interval changed to 3 months

  • AstraZeneca booster doses can now be given to anyone aged 18 and older, 3 months after completion of their primary course.
  • The COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group (CV TAG) has recommended this change, which aligns with the dose intervals for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A prescription is still required for anyone to access AstraZeneca as a booster dose. A prescription can either be obtained by the consumer at the vaccination clinic or from their preferred GP prior to their appointment. Visits to GPs for the AstraZeneca prescription will remain free to the consumer.
  • You can continue to claim reimbursement for any AstraZeneca prescription fees in the same way you did previously.
  • The Ministry of Health website and BookMyVaccine.nz will be updated to reflect the 3-month interval for the AstraZeneca booster vaccine.

Potential side effects of AstraZeneca
TTS is a rare but serious condition causing blood clots and bleeding that has been seen overseas in a small number of people who have had the AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccines. There is currently no evidence of an increased risk of thrombosis or TTS with the Pfizer vaccine. The information in these brochures explains the differences between thrombosis (blood clots) and TTS. These educational pieces also contain information on how to identify TTS and when to seek medical attention. Both brochures have been published on the Medsafe website. The consumer-facing brochure is published on the Ministry of Health website, alongside information about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

AstraZeneca consent form

More information