National Immunisation Schedule

In Aotearoa New Zealand we have a National Immunisation Schedule. This sets out the free vaccines offered to babies, tamariki, teenagers and adults at certain times in their life.

Lots of vaccines are free

  • For children under 18, all vaccinations on the National Immunisation Schedule are free – it does not matter what their visa or citizenship status is. This includes visitors to Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Lots of vaccines are also free for adults, including measles. Some you have to pay for if you do not meet certain criteria.
  • If you’re pregnant, the whooping cough and flu vaccines are free.

You may need to pay for extra vaccines that are not on the schedule (like travel vaccines). Check with your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider when booking an immunisation if there is a cost.

National Immunisation Schedule

Free immunisations during pregnancy

You can get 3 immunisations which will help protect you and your pēpi (baby).

  • Flu – 1 dose for every pregnancy, at any stage
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough – 1 dose recommended from 16 weeks of each pregnancy
  • COVID-19 – If you’re not up to date, you can get a free COVID-19 vaccination at any stage of your pregnancy

6-week immunisations

Your pēpi (baby) gets 3 vaccinations.

3-month immunisations

Your pēpi gets 3 vaccinations.

5-month immunisations

Your pēpi gets 3 vaccinations.

6-month immunisations

When your pēpi turns 6 months old, it’s recommended they get flu immunisation every year. In 2023 this is free for all children aged 6 months to 12 years. 

  • Flu – single dose annually. If they have not had a flu vaccine before, and they are under 9 years old, 2 doses, 4 weeks apart are needed.

12-month immunisations

Your pēpi gets 3 vaccinations.

15-month immunisations

Your pēpi gets 3 vaccinations.

4-year immunisations

5-year immunisations

When your tamariki turns 5 years old, they’re eligible for free COVID-19 immunisation.

From age 9 immunisations

  • HPV (2 doses, given at least 6 months apart)

From age 11 immunisations

45-year immunisations

65-year immunisations

Create a personalised immunisation schedule

This handy tool can be used as a general guide to when your child’s immunisations are due. It’s based on the National Immunisation Schedule and does not look at your child’s medical records.

Create a personalised immunisation schedule for your child

Extra immunisations

Extra immunisations may be available for you or your tamariki. This includes free immunisations for those at high risk – including those in certain close-living situations. Additional vaccines are available for extra protection and for overseas travel but there will be a charge for these.

Extra vaccines for tamariki and whānau

Why some vaccines are on the schedule more than once

To be fully protected you sometimes need more than 1 dose of a vaccine.

When you’re first vaccinated, your body learns how to fight off a particular bacteria or virus. Your second (and sometimes third or fourth) dose boosts your immune system so you will have stronger, and longer-lasting, protection.

Different vaccines protect you for different lengths of time. You sometimes need a booster vaccination to strengthen your immunity.

Some vaccines protect against more than 1 disease in a single vaccine

Some vaccines provide protection against more than 1 disease in a single vaccine. For example the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is just 1 injection. This means fewer vaccination appointments and fewer injections.

It’s not always possible to have a different vaccine if you want protection against only one of the diseases. Your immune system is used to dealing with thousands of viruses and bacteria every day – so there are no safety concerns with having multiple vaccines at the same time.

Each vaccination on the schedule is timed for the best immune response and protection

The schedule is deliberately spaced to boost your child’s immunity. For the best protection against disease, immunise your tamariki at the recommended times. Not getting them immunised on time puts tamariki at greater risk of getting a serious disease.

How to book a vaccination appointment  

If an immunisation has been missed – you can catch up

If any immunisations have been missed, it’s OK. You can catch up on most immunisations. For advice, talk to your doctor, nurse, or trusted healthcare professional.

How to catch up on missed immunisations

Page last updated: 28 Jun 2023