COVID-19 Immunisation If You're 12 To 15 Years

COVID-19 Immunisation If You're 12 To 15 Years

Anyone 5 years and over can have the COVID vaccine. If you're in the 12 to 15 age group, check some information about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Watch 12 year old Scarlett-Manaia host the COVID vaccine kōrero (at the bottom of the page).


Getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you're between 12 and 15

If you're between 12 and 15 years old, you can get your free COVID vaccine now.

You can also check the information about the COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds

What is a vaccine?

Vaccines protect you and help stop you getting sick. Some vaccines you may have had before include the flu and measles vaccines. Most vaccines are an injection that you get in your arm. The COVID-19 vaccine works by teaching your body to fight the virus.

How do I know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

Medsafe is responsible for checking medicines are safe to use. They only give consent for using a vaccine in Aotearoa once they're satisfied it has met strict standards for safety and quality, and that it's shown to be effective.

Does my parent or caregiver need to give consent?

It's best to talk about the immunisation with your whānau or a trusted support person.

A health professional will discuss the immunisation with you before you get the vaccine. You can also ask them any questions you have, and if you have a good understanding, you can say yes or no to getting the vaccine yourself. Your parent or caregiver can provide consent if you prefer.

After your immunisation, it's still important to protect yourself and others from COVID-19

  • stay home if you are sick
  • wash or sanitise your hands
  • wipe down all commonly used surfaces
  • wear a mask on all public transport if you are able
  • if you have COVID-19 symptoms, get a test
  • cover coughs and sneezes
  • use the NZ COVID Tracer to scan QR codes to record your visits - turn on Bluetooth tracing

What can I expect when I get the vaccine?

The vaccinator will inject the vaccine into your arm.

Try and relax and sit still. You can look away, or close your eyes if you are feeling nervous.

You can also listen to music, or talk to someone who supports you. You may feel a pinch or scratch when the needle goes in.

You'll be asked to get your second dose of the vaccine 6 weeks or more after your first dose.

You get the best protection against COVID-19 after 2 doses of the vaccine.

What happens after I get the vaccine?

You’ll need to stay for at least 15 minutes after so a health professional can check you’re OK.

Once a health professional says you’re fine, you can leave and carry on with your day

How might I feel after I get the vaccine?

Some people might feel a little unwell after the vaccine. This can happen with all vaccines.

There will be health professionals at every vaccination site to help if you do have a reaction.

The most common side effects are:

  • a sore arm from your injection - you can put a cold cloth or ice pack on it to feel better
  • a headache
  • feeling tired
  • feeling feverish or sweaty

These side effects are mild and shouldn't last long. If you develop difficulty breathing, a racing heart, chest pain or feel faint straight away or in the days after the vaccine, seek medical attention.

If you are worried about how you feel after your vaccine, talk to your parent, caregiver or usual healthcare provider.

You can report any side effects you experience at:

Different ways to book your vaccine

You might want to ask your caregiver to help book your appointment. You can book online at

You can book your vaccine online

If you're unable to book online, you can call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) and they'll make the booking for you and answer any questions.

COVID vaccine kōrero

Watch 12 year old Scarlett-Manaia host the COVID vaccine kōrero.


This content is reproduced from a Unite Against COVID-19/Ministry of Health resource (PDF, 514KB).

The video is produced by Blackout Media's Hahana (televsion/social/media/online/digital content).

This page last reviewed 13 September 2021.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it