HNZ: Extending second booster eligibility to Māori and Pacific Peoples aged 40-49 years
Kia ora health sector colleagues,
Today, the Director-General of Health accepted a recommendation to lower the eligible age for a second booster for Māori and Pacific peoples to 40 years and over.
The second booster will be available to people in this group from Friday 18 November 2022, to be given at least six months after their first booster and at least three months after any COVID-19 infection.
This recommendation was based on clear evidence that the burden on COVID-19 has fallen unevenly, and Māori and Pacific peoples are over-represented in both COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths with that risk increasing sharply from the age of 40 years. This broader access will help support higher vaccination rates among Māori and Pacific people and provide additional protection.
Prior to the launch of this eligibility extension on 18 November 2022, if a person being treated is eligible, you may consider providing them a second booster in an off-label fashion using a prescription and written consent. IMAC will be able to support any questions that you may have.
From 18 November 2022, once the expanded eligibility has come into effect, all programme collateral, systems and website copy will be updated to reflect the revised eligibility for second booster.
Please share the following key messages with your networks.
- From 18 November 2022, Māori and Pacific Peoples aged 40-49 will be eligible for a second booster to provide additional protection against serious illness from COVID-19.
- Second boosters continue to be available for everyone over 50 years old.
- Everyone is encouraged to stay up to date with their recommended vaccinations to protect from the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation or death from COVID-19.
Supporting messages – why (Māori and Pacific focus)
- Māori and Pacific peoples are currently over-represented in both COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths
- Extending eligibility of second booster doses to include Māori and Pacific Peoples aged 40-49 years will:
o assist in addressing these inequities through supporting higher vaccination rates among Māori and Pacific people.
o expand current eligibility for the second booster by 63,144 Māori and Pacific Peoples (approximately 37% of the eligible Māori and Pacific Peoples aged 40-49 have not yet received their first booster).
o remove the need for those aged 40-49 with undiagnosed comorbidities to get a prescription for their second booster.
- Māori and Pacific Peoples who have not yet had their primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations, or first booster dose, are encouraged to do so.
Supporting messages – why (importance of boosters)
- Staying up to date with the recommended COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to protect you from the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation or death from COVID-19.
- For those who are not at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, a two-dose primary course and a booster dose provides very good and lasting protection against COVID-19.
- The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group will continue to review new information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines and will make further recommendations if necessary.
- Pre-approved public facing messages from the 2nd booster rollout:
Keep up to date with your vaccinations
o Keeping up to date with your vaccinations is really important, even if you’ve already had COVID-19.
o You can catch COVID-19 more than once.
o Boosters are the best protection for you and your whānau.
o They can protect you from severe illness, ending up in hospital, and even death.
o That’s why keeping up with your vaccinations is one of the most important things you can do to help protect yourself and those around you.
o It will make the protection you received from your previous vaccination even stronger, and last longer.
o If you’ve had COVID-19 you can get your booster three months after you tested positive.
o Make sure you’re up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations.
o Check your eligibility at Covid19.govt.nz or call 0800 28 29 26.
Get your second booster
o Boosters are the best way to protect you and your whānau from becoming severely ill with COVID-19.
o Boosters make sure the protection you have is stronger and lasts longer.
Supporting messages – when
- The second booster will be available for Māori and Pacific Peoples aged 40-49 from 18 November 2022.
- You can only get your second booster six months after your first booster.
- If you have had COVID-19 recently and it is six months after your first booster, you will need to wait at least 3 months after infection before having your second booster.
Supporting messages – how/where
- You can get a booster dose the same way you got your previous COVID-19 vaccinations – including walk-in sites and drive-throughs. You can book an appointment for a booster dose through Book My Vaccine or by calling the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).
- COVID-19 vaccinations are free for everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 5+.
Ngā mihi nui,
Please note: As I am WFH from overseas at the moment, and due to the time difference, my hours of work is altered. I will endeavour to get back to you as soon as I can, but sometimes it may not be until the next day when I respond. Thank you so much for your understanding and patience.
Senior Adviser, Engagement
National Immunisation Programme
waea pūkoro: +64 21 248 1288| īmēra: firstname.lastname@example.org
133 Molesworth Street, Te Whanganui-a-Tara