Government announces second COVID booster

27 May 2022

The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group has recommended a second booster for people who are at high-risk of getting very sick from a COVID-19 infection and who received their first COVID-19 booster six months ago. 

A booster is important for our most vulnerable people as we move into the winter period. Several hundred thousand people will be eligible, which includes our older population, residents of aged care facilities, disability care facilities aged 16 years and over, and severely immunocompromised people aged 16 years and over and who have received a three-dose primary course and a first booster.

Final decisions on the make-up of this group will be made within the next two weeks.  

Government is working under urgency to enable the second booster to be accessed to those eligible in the same way as the primary course and booster. This is anticipated from mid-June onwards.

Prior to the launch of the national roll-out, if a person being treated is eligible, you may consider providing them a second booster in an off-label fashion using a prescription and written consent. IMAC will be able to support any questions that you may have.

Once the national roll-out is announced all the programme collateral and technology will be updated to include the second booster.

Key messages

  • If you haven’t had your first booster yet, it is not too late to get it in time for the winter season. 
  • For those who are not at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, a two-dose primary course and a booster dose provides very good and lasting protection against COVID-19. 
  • The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group will continue to review new information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines and will make further recommendations if necessary.

Supporting messages

  • Government is working under urgency to enable the second booster to be accessed to those eligible in the same way as the primary course and booster. This is anticipated from mid-June onwards.
  • Several hundred thousand people will be eligible, which includes our older population, residents of aged care facilities, disability care facilities aged 16 years and over, and severely immunocompromised people aged 16 years and over and who have received a three-dose primary course and a first booster.
  • Final decisions on the make-up of this group will be made within the next two weeks.  
  • People who have had COVID-19 will need to wait at least 3 months after infection from COVID-19 before having an additional dose.