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About COVID-19 vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against serious COVID-19 illness.

Recommended COVID-19 vaccination depends on your age and if you're at higher risk from COVID-19.

This includes:

Where to get a vaccine

Age 12 and older

People age 12 and older can go to:

  • a participating pharmacy (limited vaccines available during summer)
  • your GP if they are offering COVID-19 vaccination

You can also phone HSELive on 1800 700 700 to find out where vaccines are being offered near you.

People under 16 must attend their vaccination with a parent or guardian.

Children under 12

Children under 12 must go to a walk-in clinic. They cannot be vaccinated at a GP or pharmacy.

There are separate vaccination clinics for children age:

  • 6 months to 4 years
  • 5 to 11 years

Go to the correct clinic for your child’s age group. The vaccine doses offered are different for young children.

First COVID-19 vaccine

The first round of vaccination is for people who haven’t had a COVID-19 vaccine yet.

To get your first round of COVID-19 vaccination, you must be age 6 months or older.

There is different advice for people with a weak immune system.

Doses needed

Age 5 or older

People age 5 and older need 1 dose for the first round of COVID-19 vaccination.

If you had COVID-19, wait at least 4 weeks since you tested positive or from when your symptoms started.

Age 6 months to 4 years

For children age 6 months to 4 years, the number of doses they need will depend on whether they have had a COVID-19 infection.

If they never had COVID-19

If they have never had COVID-19, they will need 2 doses for their first round of COVID-19 vaccination. The second dose is given 4 weeks after the first.

If they had COVID-19

If they had COVID-19 at any time, they will only need 1 dose.

They should wait at least 4 weeks since they tested positive or from when their symptoms started.

How to get the Novavax vaccine

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the recommended COVID-19 vaccine for most people.

But some people may not be able to get this vaccine or have chosen not to get one. For example, because of an allergy to one of the vaccine's ingredients. In this case, you may be offered the Novavax vaccine.

Phone HSELive on 1800 700 700 to request the Novavax vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccine side effects and safety

Page last reviewed: 14 June 2024