Vaccines for New Zealanders

The government has ordered 8.5m doses of the Pfizer vaccine which will arrive in the second half of the year. It will be free and available for all those over the age of 16.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Health is vaccinating all those who are at greater risk of getting Covid-19. They include border workers and their families. People who work at the airport and in the quarantine hotels are border workers. Frontline health professionals are also at risk. These are nurses and doctors who are testing people for the virus or in contact with sick people who already have the virus. Then there are others in the community who have health issues like asthma and they are given priority.

The rest of New Zealand will have to wait. The Pfizer vaccine needs two doses for each person and must be stored at a very low temperature. It is 95% effective after the second dose. We don’t yet know how the Ministry of Health will organise the vaccination programme.


dose (n)– an amount of medicine for one person at one time

asthma (n) – people who have asthma may find it difficult to breathe

a vaccine (n) –  to  vaccinate (v), a vaccination (adj) programme: a vaccine is a medicine that teaches the body how to fight a disease

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