Immunisation for preschoolers

Before your child starts school they should get a free diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio booster immunisation. They’re also eligible for free meningococcal B vaccines. From 5 years old they can get COVID-19 immunisations.

Immunisations on the schedule are free for all tamariki

In Aotearoa New Zealand, we have a National Immunisation Schedule. This lists the vaccines offered to tamariki and adults and the best time to get immunised. All vaccinations on the National Immunisation Schedule are free for children under 18 – it does not matter what their visa or citizenship status is. This includes visitors to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Extra vaccines not on the schedule may also be recommended your tamariki is considered high-risk, or if you’re travelling abroad. Some of these vaccines you may need to pay for.

National Immunisation Schedule

When to immunise

Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio (booster dose)

When your tamariki turns 4, they are eligible for a booster vaccination that protects against 4 vaccine-preventable diseases.

Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio (booster dose)

Meningococcal B

On 1 March 2023, the meningococcal B vaccine was added to the National Immunisation Schedule. It's free for babies at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 12 months.

Many tamariki under 5 would not have had their 3 doses, so a free catch-up programme is available until 31 August 2025 for tamariki under 5 years old.

Talk to your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider about immunising them.

Meningococcal vaccines

COVID-19 immunisations

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

Annual flu immunisation

All tamariki aged 6 months to 12 years old are eligible for flu immunisation every year.

In 2024 this is free for tamariki aged 4 years and under who have been hospitalised for respiratory illness or have a history of significant respiratory illness.

Flu vaccine

Extra vaccines for tamariki

Extra free immunisations are available for those at high-risk. Some vaccines can also be purchased for extra protection and for overseas travel.

Extra vaccines for tamariki

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: 4 Mar 2024