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COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a respiratory viral infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spread rapidly resulting in a pandemic.

Early symptoms of COVID-19 include a dry cough, sore throat, fever, loss of taste and smell, tiredness, gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhoea and pain, and muscle aches. In some people, particularly in older people and those with chronic health issues, it develops into pneumonia and widespread inflammation requiring hospitalisation and ventilation support in intensive care.

COVID-19 vaccines are important tools in protection against the virus, helping prevent severe infection, hospitalisation and death.

In New Zealand, vaccination against COVID-19 is free, there are a number of vaccines available; Pfizer remains the recommended first choice

Pfizer Comirnaty® are mRNA vaccines, which prepares your body to fight against the virus; it does not contain the virus itself and cannot give you the virus.
There are two formulations; one for 5-11 years (paediatric) and one for 12 years+
It is a 2 + 1 schedule, which means two doses at least 21 days apart and a booster at least three months later.

AstraZeneca is an inactivated vaccine for people aged 18years +.
It is a 2 + 1 schedule, which means two doses at least 28 days apart and a booster at least 3 months later.

Nuvaxovid, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, has now been approved to be used as a primary (two-dose) vaccination course for people aged 18 years+ in Aotearoa.
People will be able to book in at a limited number of vaccination sites on
Nuvaxovid is a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, licenced for a two-dose schedule given at least 21 days apart. A booster is not currently licensed for this vaccine.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the COVID-19 Website or talk to your doctor today.

New Zeland