Covid booster gap lowered to three months from Friday

People will be able to receive their Covid-19 booster three months after their second Pfizer vaccine from Friday, after the Government pulled forward the minimal interval time from four months.

Jacinda Ardern receiving her booster dose.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement today, after Cabinet received advice to shorten the timeframe.

“I urge every New Zealander who is eligible for a booster to get it as soon as possible. We are in a race against Omicron and the more people who are boosted the more we can reduce the impact of the outbreak," Hipkins said.

The Prime Minister and Government had urged New Zealanders to get their booster shot ahead of the Omicron outbreak worsening - however due to when the general vaccine eligibility opened up to all ages, many were still waiting out the four-month interval period.

"This is a significant step in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic as it now means a total of 3,063,823 people aged 18 and over – two thirds of our population – will be eligible for their booster from this weekend," Hipkins said.

"Boosters lower your chances of getting very sick from the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and ending up in hospital."

The UK cut its time frame between the second shot and the booster shot in half down to three months, staggered by age group, from November last year.

The New Zealand Government decreased the time frame last December from six months to four. It also make it a requirement for eligible border and health workers to get a booster vaccination.

Kiwis do not need their booster shot to have a vaccine passport.

New Zealanders under 18 were still not eligible to receive a booster shot.

The Covid-19 update on Tuesday reported 1.3 million booster doses had been administered, making up 68 per cent.