Get in the know

COVID-19 is here so what we do to keep our whānau and communities safe is really important. Getting vaccinated helps protect ourselves and each other. It means we'll be able to get back to doing the things we love, faster.

Video Link:

How does the vaccine work?

The vaccine works like other vaccines. It teaches the immune system to recognise and fight the virus.

It can’t give you the disease because it does not contain the virus, or a dead or inactivated virus, or anything that can affect our DNA.

The vaccine is gone completely from your body within a few days, leaving your immune system ready for action if COVID-19 comes near you.

How were COVID-19 vaccines created so quickly?

It took a global effort to create the COVID-19 vaccines. But we didn’t start from scratch. Similar research into another virus (known as SARS) was already underway.

Other things helped.

  • Large amounts of funding were invested in research and manufacturing.
  • New technology was available.
  • Researchers, scientists and manufacturers around the world worked together.

As a result, the vaccines could be made faster, while still making sure they went through all the safety checks.

Manurewa Marae Vaccine Centre

What happens when I go to get the vaccine?

  • You’ll be asked to provide your details and to give consent.
  • A fully trained vaccinator will give you the vaccine in your upper arm.
  • You’ll need to stay for 15 minutes after getting vaccinated.
  • Some mild side-effects are common and are a sign that your body’s learning to fight the virus. Visit
  • Your second vaccination should happen three weeks after your first dose, or as soon as possible after that. You can book an appointment or there are lots of places where you can get vaccinated without one.
  •   Find a vaccination centre near you here.
  • Both doses of the vaccine are FREE.
  • Being fully vaccinated (two doses) will help protect you and your whānau from COVID-19.
People getting vaccinated

How effective is the Pfizer vaccine?

The clinical trials on the Pfizer vaccine show about 95% of people who received both doses of the vaccine were protected against getting seriously ill. It takes about seven days after your second dose to have immunity against COVID-19.

We don’t yet know how long you’ll be protected, or how much it stops you from passing on the virus. Current research shows that once you’re vaccinated, you’ll have immunity against COVID-19 for at least eight months and it may be longer.

When can I get vaccinated?

Everyone aged 12 and over can get the vaccine now.

Both doses of the vaccine are FREE.  You can book a vaccination or just go to a walk-in or drive-through centre.  Find a vaccination centre near you here.

How does the traffic light system work?

The traffic light system, also known as the COVID-19 Protection Framework, introduces a new system (Green, Orange, Red) to manage COVID-19 in the community. The framework is more flexible than the Alert Level system which is possible because more people are vaccinated. Use of the vaccine pass enables more community events and gatherings, and more businesses to stay open - because vaccinated whānau pose much less risk. Different parts of the country will be at different levels so it’s important that you understand your region’s traffic light level and what that means you can or can’t do.  If you are travelling, it’s important to know the traffic light level and guidelines for the area you’re going to. We’ll move to this system on 3 December 2021. Read more here

How will vaccine certificates affect me and my whānau?

My Vaccine Pass is an official record of your COVID-19 vaccination status for use in Aotearoa. They will be compulsory for some jobs. Many shops, gyms, marae, communities or events will also require you to have a vaccine pass. Vaccination Certificates will show proof of COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling overseas. Learn more about vaccine passes and certificates here.

What are Iwi and Māori doing to protect their communities?

Find out what iwi and Māori organisations are doing around the motu to combat COVID-19 and where you can go to get support.  Visit Te Puni Kōkiri's portal