More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites
around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January.
The COVID-19 vaccine used for tamariki has a lower dose and smaller volume than the adult vaccine and is administered
using a smaller needle. To be fully immunised against COVID-19 a child needs to get two doses of the vaccine, usually
given at least 8 weeks apart.
The child Pfizer vaccine is available at 500 sites throughout New Zealand, including walk-ins, drive-throughs, hauora
providers, community pharmacies, and general practices. The number of centres will increase over the coming weeks. You
can find out which clinics offer the child Pfizer vaccine at bookmyvaccine.nz
A programme of Māori-designed initiatives will ensure all whānau can access vaccination and celebrate tamariki with
special events and activities in their neighbourhoods. Pacific-led initiatives will support improving vaccination rates
for 5 to 11-year-olds in Pacific communities.
Auckland's Covid-19 vaccination programme clinical director Dr Anthony Jordan says communities in Tamaki Makaurau are
“We’re looking forward to welcoming families along to our vaccination centres, and will have activities available to
help make children feel more comfortable and keep them busy, like word finders, colouring in, stickers and certificates.
All our staff have been specially trained in childhood immunisations and are ready to answer any questions from parents
“Getting vaccinated now is a great way to help protect tamariki before they go back to school. The evidence shows that
while children may have milder symptoms, some will still get very sick and end up in hospital if they do get COVID-19.
Getting vaccinated also helps to prevent them from passing it on to more vulnerable members of the whānau, like babies
and elderly family members.
“If parents are due for their boosters, they can get them done at the same time to help provide reassurance.”
Starship Paediatric Consultant Dr Jin Russell has been involved in providing independent expert advice on protecting
children from Covid-19 to the Ministry.
"We now have real-world safety data from over eight million doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered to children aged
5-11 years in the United States. I have confidence the Pfizer vaccine is very safe for children.
Dr Russell has advice for parents and caregivers on preparing their child for vaccination.
“The best thing a parent can do to prepare their children to be immunised is to talk to them about what is going to
“Tell them there will be a small needle and that they will feel a sharp scratch or sting briefly but then it will be
over. They may havea sore arm, fever, headache or feel tired afterwards," says Dr Russell.
“A key thing is to tell them why they are going to be vaccinated. I say to my boys, you are going to be vaccinated to
protect yourself against COVID-19, and to protect our family, your grandparents, our community, and other kids at school
who may be more at risk from COVID-19 if they catch it.
“It is also important that as a parent you stay calm and reassuring as children take their emotional cues from parents
and caregivers. If you can, make a plan to do something fun afterwards so they have something to look forward to,”
advises Dr Russell.
To find out which centres are offering the child Pfizer vaccine this week visit the Unite Against Covid website. Parents
and caregivers can book online at BookMyVaccine.nz or make a whānau booking by calling the Covid Vaccination Healthline
on 0800 28 29 26. Many general practices are also offering child vaccinations for their enrolled patients – contact your
local doctor to find out more.
Parent and caregivers, for more information and resources please visit:Karawhiua for whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori communitiesMinistry for Pacific PeoplesMinistry of HealthUnite Against Covid (https://covid19.govt.nz/tamariki
)Or Talk to a trained advisor on the COVID Vaccination Healthline: 0800 28 29 26 - between 8am–8pm, 7 days a week.Notes:There are 476,300 tamariki aged between 5-11 years in Aotearoa eligible for the child Pfizer vaccine.The vaccine is free to get. Tamariki need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. The two doses are usually
given at least 8 weeks apart.A parent, caregiver or legal guardian will need to accompany the child to the vaccination as the responsible adult and
to provide consent for the child to be vaccinated.Immunisation helps protect tamariki from many serious diseases and stops disease spreading in your whānau and community.
In Aotearoa, children get free vaccinations against 12 diseases, including whooping cough (pertussis), measles and