COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine rollout under way

12 May 2021


The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues across the Whanganui, Rangitikei and south Ruapehu districts.

We are currently vaccinating our Group 2 population

Group 2 covers high-risk frontline workers and people living in high-risk situations


You are in Group 2 if you:

  • are a high-risk frontline healthcare workers
  • are a frontline emergency worker
  • work in a long-term residential environment
  • live in long-term residential care and are 16 or over
  • are an older Māori or Pacific person being cared for by whānau


People in Group 2 can get early access to a vaccine because:

  • older Māori and Pacific people living with their whānau in the community are more at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19
  • frontline healthcare and disability workers are at greater risk of getting COVID-19, or spreading it to people most at risk
  • people working in long-term residential environments or living in long-term residential care have a higher risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 and getting very sick or dying


Later in May we will start vaccinating Group 3.


You’re in Group 3 if you are:

  • aged 65 or over
  • have a relevant underlying health condition
  • pregnant
  • disabled


If you’re in Group 3, you can expect an invitation to be vaccinated from late May. There are about 1.7 million people nationwide in Group 3, so you may not receive an invitation immediately.


With such a large group we need the flexibility to respond to the needs of our local communities. At times, this could mean vaccinating some priority groups ahead of others.


Everyone aged 16 and over will have the opportunity to get vaccinated. No one will miss out.


You don’t need to do anything now – you will be notified in the coming weeks how you can book your vaccination.


Taihape fire chief Alan Troon gets the jab

The governance group, made up of WDHB, Whanganui Regional Health Network, Hauora ā Iwi, the National Hauora Coalition, iwi and Māori health services will ensure easy access for all, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable in our community, including Māori and Pacific populations which are most at risk from the virus.


The vaccination of the bulk of the population is expected in the second half of 2021.


The COVID-19 vaccine is free, safe and effective, and is being made available for everyone in New Zealand aged 16 years and above.


It has been approved for use after meeting stringent international standards and equally robust New Zealand requirements for quality, safety and effectiveness. 


COVID-19 vaccines with Dr Nikki Turner - Ask an expert | Ministry of Health NZ

Dr Nikki Turner, Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre at the University of Auckland, NZ, answers some key questions about COVID-19 vaccines in New Zealand.