Health New Zealand: Further update on second booster availability - please share

Health New Zealand: Further update on second booster availability - please share

Kia ora practice managers,  

Last night we sent you a message about the availability of second boosters for those at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and extended eligibility for funded flu vaccinations. You can read the Minister’s media statement relating to this announcement here and an update on who is recommended to receive the second booster on our website here.

The policy statement outlining the use of second boosters will be published on this webpage this afternoon. Likewise, the amended consent form will be on our Dropbox shortly.

The immune and medical conditions where a second booster is recommended are listed below. People in these groups are likely to have an ongoing increased risk of severe COVID-19 even after primary vaccination. These examples are not exhaustive, and providers may include individuals with conditions similar to those listed below, based on clinical judgment. 



Immunocompromising conditions


Non-haematological cancer including those diagnosed within the past 5 years or on chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy (active treatment or recently completed) or with advanced disease regardless of treatment. Survivors of childhood cancer.

Chronic inflammatory conditions requiring medical treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies.

Systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who are being treated.

Chronic lung disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and severe asthma (defined as requiring frequent hospital visits or the use of multiple medications).

Chronic liver disease

Cirrhosis, autoimmune hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease.

Severe chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5)

Chronic neurological disease

Stroke, neurodegenerative disease (e.g dementia, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease), myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, myopathies, paralytic syndromes, epilepsy.

Diabetes mellitus requiring medication

Chronic cardiac disease

Ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, congestive cardiac failure, cardiomyopathies, poorly controlled hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, complex congenital heart disease.

People with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increase risk of poor outcome from COVID-19

Particularly those with trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) or complex multi-system disorders.

Severe obesity with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2

Severe underweight with BMI < 16.5 kg/m2


Please note, a second booster is not recommended for healthy pregnant people.

You may have also noticed that last night’s message said people could book their second booster from 28 July. This should have read from tomorrow, 28 June. Our apologies for this error. 

Finally, thank you to everyone involved in our vaccination efforts. We appreciate winter is a busy time for the entire sector, and your continued support is essential in helping protect our community. Thank you for continuing to encourage people to get their first boosters.

Ngā mihi nui,


Sandy Thambiah (she/her)

Senior Advisor, Engagement – National Immunisation Programme

Interim Health New Zealand

M   +64 (21) 248 1288