Boosters for 16 and 17 year-olds

Published 8 April 2022

COVID-19 boosters are now available for patients aged 16 - 17.

Key messages

  • A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster dose will be available from 7 April for all rangatahi aged 16 and 17, six months after completion of the primary course (for most people, this is two doses).
  • Medsafe has provisionally approved the booster dose for this age group, following a robust assessment of Pfizer’s application.
  • A booster dose is especially recommended for 16 and 17 year-olds who are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. This includes those who are immunocompromised (or living with a family member who is immunocompromised) and Maori and Pacific youth.
  • The side effects of this booster vaccine for this age group are expected to be the same as those for people aged 18 and older.

Messages for the healthcare sector

  • A booster dose can be prescribed to someone aged 16 or 17 years at an interval of less than 6 months after completion of the primary course. Refer to the Immunisation Handbook for clinical advice. This is considered unapproved (off-label) use and requires a prescription under Section 25 of the Medicines Act 1981, following a conversation about the risks and benefits.
  • Clinicians may consider giving a booster dose to 12 to 15 year-olds who are clinically at-risk. This would be considered unapproved (off-label) use and requires a prescription under Section 25 of the Medicines Act.
More information