COVID-19: Updated PVSC data now online

COVID-19: Updated PVSC data now online

Kia ora,  

Updated results from the COVID-19 Post Vaccine Symptom Check (PVSC) are now available on the Medsafe website. For the first time, these results include people who received a second booster. 

Results of the PVSC on the Medsafe website 

Please feel free to share this information with your networks. 

Top line messages: Survey results

  • The COVID-19 post vaccine symptom check survey results have been updated and also now include results from people who have received a second booster.
  • Reporting of symptoms following a second booster was 25%, lower than any other dose to date.
  • Taking the survey was optional and we thank the 319,136 people who have chosen to participate to date.
  • Based on the survey results, no new safety concerns have been identified for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. 

Supporting messages: Survey results in detail  

  • Previous surveys invited up to 25% of the population who received first or second doses, and first boosters, to report on any symptoms they may have experienced following their vaccination. 25% of parents and guardians of children who received the paediatric vaccine were also invited to take the survey.
  • As the second booster has more restricted eligibility criteria, a higher proportion of recipients were invited to participate in the survey in order to ensure sufficient data quality.
  • In all three surveys a total of 319,136 people responded to the text messages. Of those who responded to the survey: 56% were female, and 44% were male, 14% of respondents were Māori, and 6% were Pacific peoples. The booster survey oversampled Māori and Pacific peoples to ensure survey results were enriched for these populations.  
  • Of the responses received for all surveys 100,996 (32%) reported that they experienced at least one adverse event/reaction to the vaccine. 218,140 (68%) reported that they did not experience an adverse event.  
  • Of those that reported an adverse event, the proportion was highest after dose 2 (42%) and lowest after booster 2 (25%).
  • After each dose, the proportion of people who reported an adverse event was similar for each ethnic group.
  • The most frequently reported adverse events were injection site reaction, headache, muscle and body aches, joint pain, chills, fatigue and tiredness. These are common adverse reactions linked to the immune response following immunisation. 
  • More information about PVSC can be found on the Medsafe website.

Supporting messages: Reporting any vaccine reactions  

  • Being vaccinated provides the best protection against COVID-19. 
  • Aotearoa New Zealand has a good reporting culture in comparison to other countries, meaning that people are more likely to submit a report after vaccination, even for something minor like a headache or sore arm. 
  • Reporting reactions, even if they are minor, is important and encouraged. It helps Te Whatu Ora and the Ministry of Health to confirm that the reactions experienced in Aotearoa New Zealand are similar to those seen in the clinical trials. It can also help identify if there are any trends that might need to be investigated further. 
  • You can report how you or your whānau/aiga felt either online at, through your GP or vaccinator, or by calling the COVID Healthline at 0800 358 5453. Translation services are available. 
  • If you receive a text message asking about how you (or your child) are feeling after your COVID-19 vaccination, you can reply to this text for free. 
  • You don’t have to be sure that the vaccine caused the reaction to make a report.  
  • You don’t have to be a healthcare professional to submit a report, and you don’t need to be sure that the vaccine caused the reaction.

Ngā mihi


Donnacha Ó Súilleabháin

Engagement and Mobilisation Lead | Kaiwhakahaere Whakaoreore  

National Immunisation Programme


133 Molesworth Street, Wellington 6011