COVID vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccination

Last updated 18/3/2022 – Press refresh or F5 to see the latest page

 

Glenfield Medical Centre will remain open throughout the COVID pandemic to look after our patients, but we will NEED YOUR HELP to ensure we can continue providing care to those who need them the most. To ensure our staff and phone lines remain accessible to critically ill patients, we would like patients seeking information to use our website as much as possible, or call the COVID-19 health advice line 0800 358 5453.

How to get a COVID vaccine

At Glenfield Medical Centre we offer the Pfizer adult and paediatric COVID vaccine to our enrolled patients. However, because each vial of the vaccine contains 7 doses for adults or 10 doses for children, we cannot offer COVID vaccination daily and need to group enough numbers to avoid waste. Please call our reception 09 444 5911 to enquire when our next COVID vaccine clinic is available.

Our local pharmacies Glenfield 7 Day Pharmacy and Life Pharmacy Glenfield Mall also offer walk in COVID vaccination.

Alternatively you can go to the Book My Vaccine website, or call the COVID vaccination helpline 0800 28 29 26.

Once you had your vaccination, you can go to My COVID Record to see your COVID vaccination record, request a My Vaccine Pass, request an International Travel Vaccination Certificate and view your recent COVID test results in the last 90 days.

COVID vaccine for adults, and age 12 to 17

Vaccination is a safe, effective and proven way to minimise the risk of catching COVID, becoming seriously unwell with COVID and passing COVID onto others. The main vaccine that is being used in New Zealand is Pfizer (Comirnaty), with a small amount of AstraZenica and Novavax (Nuvaxovid) available in certain vaccination centers, see COVID-19: AstraZeneca vaccines | Ministry of Health NZ and COVID-19 vaccines: Getting Novavax | Ministry of Health NZ.

Initial studies on the earlier variants of COVID-19 had shown that the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and reduces the rate of hospitalisation and death by 10-fold. Even though the Pfizer vaccine seems less effective in preventing Omicron transmission, fortunately it remains highly effective in preventing severe COVID illness. Recent US data (Johnson AG et al. CDC MMWR. 2022) of COVID-19 death rates during their December Omicron wave showed the clear benefit of vaccination and further benefit of the booster:
– 9.74 COVID deaths per 100,000 for the unvaccinated
– 0.17 COVID deaths per 100,000 for people with 2 doses of the vaccine
– 0.1 COVID deaths per 100,000 for people vaccinated with a booster shot

How the vaccine works
The Pfizer vaccine contains mRNA which is like a recipe. Once you receive the vaccine, the body use this recipe to make spike protein, which is found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus. Your body only has the recipe to make this and cannot make the whole virus. Your immune system then produce antibodies to fight against this spike protein, and in the process, learns how to combat COVID-19 in the future.

Timing of doses and boosters
The primary series consist of 2 doses spaced at least 21 days apart.
Boosters are normally given 4 to 6 months after the last dose, but on 4/2/2022 it was announced that this should be shortened to 3 months to help New Zealand better prepared for the incoming Omicron wave.
Boosters are currently only given to people older than 18, but there should be announcements soon about when 12-17 year olds can get the booster.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should get vaccinated too
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe COVID illness, as well as an increase risk of premature birth, stillbirth and other undesirable outcomes. Recently a large observational study in Scotland between Dec 2020 to Oct 2021 (Stock et al. Nat Med. 2022) and a large retrospective study in US (Lipkind et al. CDC MMWR. 2022) had shown that vaccinated pregnant women have substantially lower rates of undesirable outcomes compared to unvaccinated pregnant women. For more information, see Pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccination (immune.org.nz).

Even if you had COVID, you should get vaccinated too
It is still recommended to get fully vaccinated and boosted after recovery from a COVID-19 infection, in order to develop long term immunity. The Ministry of Health now recommends:
 – 5 to 11 year olds: wait 3 months before their first or second doses
 – 12 and above: wait 4 weeks before their first of second doses, but wait 3 months for booster doses

For more information, see Spacing of vaccinations | The Immunisation Advisory Centre (immune.org.nz)

 

Adverse effects

It is normal to get some reactions after any vaccinations; it means your immune system is working, fighting against the vaccine and learning how to combat the disease in the future. Common symptoms from the COVID vaccine includes arm pain and swelling, headache, aches, fatigue and fever. It usually begins within 24 hours of vaccination and resolves after 1-3 days. Symptoms are more common after the second and booster doses, but can usually be manage with paracetamol or ibuprofen.

A rare but important serious reaction is myocarditis, which is inflammation of the muscle of the heart. It is similar to the sensitive and sore arm that you feel after the vaccination, but instead of it being in the muscle of the arm, it occurs in the muscle of the heart. It has a higher chance in occurring in the second dose, usually appear within 1 to 5 days following vaccination, and most commonly in males age 16 to 24. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and palpitations, but most cases are mild and recover completely after treatment with anti-inflammatory medications.

If you have any concerns, you can speak with someone on the COVID-19 vaccination helpline – 0800 28 29 26
For further information, see COVID-19 vaccines topics | Health Navigator NZ

COVID vaccine for children age 5 to 11

The paediatric Pfizer COVID vaccine is actually the same vaccine but a third of the adult dose. With 2 doses, it is 90.7% effective against getting COVID-19 symptoms.

The primary series consist of 2 doses spaced 8 weeks apart, but can be shorten to 3 weeks if there are any serious pre-existing medical conditions. Most children in New Zealand will only have had one dose as it was first available on 17/1/2022. There is no data on the effectiveness of one dose but it is still expected to offer protection.

Children tend to have less side effects from the COVID vaccine, with approximately 10% experiencing headache, headache or fatigue, and 3% fever. Risk of myocarditis in children after the first dose is about 1 in a million, 2nd dose 1 in 250,000.

For more information, see COVID-19 and Children.
Vaccination for children and young people | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)
5 to 11y Consent Helping patients make informed decisions version 3.pdf (immune.org.nz)

Already vaccinated overseas

People who were vaccinated overseas can get a booster Pfizer vaccine 3 months after their last dose.

Bring in or email us your overseas vaccination record and we might be able to help enter it into the national COVID Immunisation Register. Please note only certain vaccines are accepted for My Vaccine Pass. See COVID-19: Overseas vaccinations and certificates | Ministry of Health NZ.

Vaccine exemption

Vaccination is now mandatory for education workers, health & disability workers and border & MIQ workers. Vaccination is also required in order to get a vaccine pass, for entering venues and events.

Medical practitioners can help a patient apply to the ministry of health for an exemption (valid for 3 to 6 months), if they fit any of the following categories:

  1. PCR confirmed COVID infection within the last 3 months
  2. Acute severe illness or on high dose immunosuppression and advised to defer vaccination by specialist
  3. Anaphylaxis/myocarditis/pericarditis to previous dose of COVID vaccine, and no alternative COVID vaccine available
  4. Terminal illness with life expectancy of less than 6 months

See COVID-19: Exemptions from mandatory vaccination | Ministry of Health NZ