National Public Health Service (NPHS) - Northern Region supports immunisation as a safe and effective way to help prevent serious illness in babies and children.

For questions about immunisation and vaccination-preventable diseases, contact the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC).

For information on the immunisation status of your child, please contact your family doctor.

Why immunise
Vaccines: Aluminium Demonstration

Immunisation helps prevent many serious childhood infections. The Immunisation Schedule is a free service for children under the age of 18 years, available from your primary health provider (your doctor). It is not necessary to see your doctor before you have these immunisations and your practice nurse can give these to your child.

When a child is immunised, their body's immune system is stimulated to protect against the diseases represented in the vaccine. It is important to understand that the risk from any of these diseases far outweighs any risk associated with vaccination.

To develop good immune protection against a range of serious diseases there is a schedule of immunisations (including boosters). It is important that these immunisations are given when they are due.

To learn more visit

You can also find more information on recommended child immunisations from: 

The BCG vaccine is available for children aged under 5 at higher risk of tuberculosis (TB) disease. This includes:

  • children at risk of catching TB from someone living in their house
  • children who are going to live in a country with a high rate of TB
  • children whose parents, household member or carer have in the last 6 months lived in a country with a high rate of TB.

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Pregnant women are recommended to get the following free immunisations to protect them and their baby:

  • Influenza
  • Boostrix vaccine (protects against whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus and diphtheria) – between weeks 16 and 38 of pregnancy, in every pregnancy.

Adults aged 45 and 65 years are recommended to have booster vaccines against tetanus and diphtheria. The vaccine is free but you may be required to pay an administration fee for this service.

The shingles vaccine is recommended for anyone aged 50 and over. It’s free for the 12 months after your 65th birthday. There is a cost for the shingles vaccine outside this time.

To learn more speak to your GP or visit your medical centre.

Some immunisations are free for children and adults at high risk of severe disease or complications due to other medical conditions they have.

These vaccines are:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus infuenzae type B (Hib)
  • Human papillomavirus,
  • Influenza
  • Meningococcal,
  • Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tuberculosis
  • Varicella vaccines

More information is available from the Ministry of Health.

The following vaccines are available for private purchase:

  • Varicella vaccine to protect against chicken pox.
  • Meningococcal vaccine to protect against four (A, C, Y, W 135) of the groups of meningococcal disease. Some groups can receive this vaccine for free. A further separate vaccine is also available that protects against meningococcal disease type B. Further information is available from the Immunisation Advisory Centre
  • Zoster vaccine to protect people aged 50 years and over against shingles.

Talk to your doctor if you are interested in learning more about these vaccines.

Advice about immunisations and other measures to protect you and your family's health is available from specialist travel medicine centres and local medical centres.

For more information visit:


New Zealand immunisation schedule, Immunisation Handbook 2017, BCG immunisation, and cold chain management and more.

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Last updated 19.3.2024

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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