Covid-19 Vaccination Programme @ Lakes DHB

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in the Lakes DHB area

The Ministry of Health is leading the COVID-19 vaccination programme and is working closely with all district health boards to carefully plan and deliver the roll-out across New Zealand.

The vaccine being used is the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (sometimes also referred to as Comirnaty). This page will provide a range of information on the programme for rolling out immunisations to our Lakes border and MIF workers, frontline health workers, older and vulnerable people and then our wider communities.

Please note that being immunised does not mean you stop practicing COVID-19 health measures such as staying home if you are sick, washing or sanitising hands, wearing a mask on public transport, covering coughs and sneezes, using the COVID tracer app and Bluetooth, wiping down commonly used surfaces, and getting a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Please visit the COVID-19 website for up to date nationwide information.

The COVID-19 vaccination is safe

 The vaccine you are getting is called the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The vaccine has a great safety record.

The Pfizer vaccine is different to most traditional vaccines because it is a ‘messenger RNA’ vaccine (mRNA). These vaccines don’t use virus cells at all – instead they contain a piece of RNA code that teaches your body to recognise the virus. This means your body is ready to respond straight away if you get sick.

We know this vaccine is safe because it has gone through months of clinical testing with more than 40,000 people. Since then, millions of people around the world of all different ages, gender and ethnicities have received the vaccine with great results. From these studies, we know that the vaccine has a good safety record.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will not give you COVID-19. There is no possibility it could affect your DNA/genes. The chance of you having a severe allergic reaction is very rare, but if you do our vaccinators have been trained to respond immediately and know exactly what to do.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was given MedSafe approval on 10 February for people 16 years or older. Two doses are needed, with at least 21 days between each dose. It's very important to get the second dose to provide the best protection against catching the virus.

The best way to protect you, your kaumātua and whānau is to get vaccinated.  


Who will get a vaccination and when?


Over time, everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand who is 16 years and older will have access to a vaccine. The aim is to protect as many people as possible during the year.

The groups below show the order of priority, determined by the MoH, in which people across New Zealand will be immunised to ensure the right people are immunised at the right time.

The dates for Lakes DHB may change depending on progress - we will regularly update this information.
Group1 — February -March - Border and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers and the people they live with (household contacts).
Lakes DHB is completing Tier 1 (first and second dose) currently (March and early April).

Group 2 — March-May - High-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk places
You are in this group if you:
• are a high-risk frontline healthcare workers
• work in a long-term residential care environment
• live in long-term residential care
• are an older Māori or Pacific person being cared for by whānau 

Group 3 — May onwards - People who are at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19
You’re in this group if you are:
• aged over 65
• have a relevant underlying health condition
• disabled
• an adult in a custodial setting.

Group 4 — July onwards – Everyone else
You’re in this group if you’re aged 16 or over.

The Lakes DHB programme has a planned completion date for all Lakes people, including second doses, by the end of November.

Click here for the brochure When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

For more details:

What happens at your vaccination appointment?


When it is your turn to be immunised we will let you know and tell you how to make an appointment. 

A healthcare worker will do a health check with you prior to immunisation and give you some standard information when you present for immunisation.You will have time to ask any questions.

Click here for the brochure Getting your COVID-19 vaccination

Talk to your usual health professional before booking or presenting for immunisation if you:
• are pregnant or breastfeeding
• are receiving cancer treatment
• have any other medical conditions or are taking other medicines.
• If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get a test and stay at home until you get your results. You can be vaccinated once you have a negative test.

Let your vaccinator know if you:
• have had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to any vaccine or injection in the past
• are taking blood-thinning medication
• have a bleeding disorder.

When you are happy, you will be asked to sign the consent form. You will only be vaccinated if you agree. Then the healthcare worker will inject the vaccine into your upper arm. You’ll need to stay for 20 minutes after to check that you’re ok and they may ask you about side effects.

Once the healthcare worker says you’re fine, you can leave and carry on with your day.

You will be given an appointment time and asked to get your second dose of the vaccine three weeks later. A longer wait is okay, but you get much better protection against COVID-19 after receiving two doses of the vaccine.

Current main venues for immunising in Lakes DHB

In Rotorua our COVID-19 immunisation hub is located in the Rotorua Central Mall, Amohau Street, next to Noel Leeming.
A Taupo COVID Immunisation Hub will be opened in late May.  We will advise details closer to the opening date..
In Turangi and Mangakino, immunisations will be offered via primary care premises. Our teams will be concentrated in Rotorua and Taupo and will outreach to smaller communities and work in collaboration with local health providers.

Our COVID-19 immunisation programme team

Lakes DHB has set up a COVID-19 immunisation programme team to deliver the vaccine. 

This is a team that has been brought together for this specific programme and includes a clinical nurse manager with previous immunisation programme experience, as well as a number of experienced nurses.

The team is working together with staff from a range of DHB departments as well as the Medical Officer of Health to ensure the smooth roll out of the programme. Lakes DHB is also working with Māori heath providers and iwi to progress the planning.


Contacting the Lakes DHB COVID-19 immunisation programme team

 The team can be reached on the administration call centre number  




during business hours, six days a week.  Please leave a message if your call is not answered.

Or you can text the team on 027 281 1782

or email

More information about vaccines is on the Unite against COVID website here:

For more information about the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 roll out plan see: