• Dr. Young Lee

Booster shots!

Hi all! I thought it would be a good idea to update everyone on topical subjects. We’ve had a few questions come up about things like booster shots, timing them and what to do with your vaccination records if you were vaccinated overseas. Well - I’m here to answer all these questions and I hope it helps. I was vaccinated overseas. How do I get my vaccine passport in New Zealand? It’s straight forward, but takes a bit of time. Do the following steps:

  1. Check that the vaccine is recognized by NZ. See the list below.

  2. Email the government with the email address below. Make sure that any proof of vaccination is translated to English. Your GP CANNOT help you with this - you have to do it yourself.

  3. Wait up to 14 days for it to go into your immunization registry.

  4. I know the article below says that it does not guarantee that you will be able to get a vaccine passport. However - in the same website, they are saying that they are working through a process to get it recognized. So go figure. Hopefully this gets sorted before the holidays.

Here is the article from the official website: As well as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 23 approved vaccines can be entered into the CIR:

  1. Anhui Zhifei Longcom – ZF2001

  2. Bharat Biotech – Covaxin

  3. CanSino – Ad5-nCoV

  4. Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) – CIGB-66

  5. Chumakov Center – KoviVac

  6. FBRI – EpiVacCorona

  7. Gamaleya – Sputnik Light

  8. Gamaleya – Sputnik V

  9. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – Ad26.COV2.S

  10. Kazakhstan RIBSP – QazVac

  11. Medigen – MVC-COV1901

  12. Minhai Biotechnology Co – SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cells)

  13. Moderna – mRNA-1273

  14. Oxford/AstraZeneca – AZD1222

  15. Serum Institute of India – Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation)

  16. Serum Institute of India – COVOVAX (Novavax formulation)

  17. Shifa Pharmed Industrial Co – COVID-19 Inactivated Vaccine

  18. Sinopharm (Beijing) – BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells)

  19. Sinopharm (Wuhan) – Inactivated (Vero Cells)

  20. Sinovac – CoronaVac

  21. Takeda – TAK-919 (Moderna formulation)

  22. Vaxine/CinnaGen Co. – COVAX-19

  23. Zydus Cadila – ZyCoV-D

Any overseas vaccination entered in the CIR is an administrative record, not a clinical record. It does not guarantee that you will be recognised as fully vaccinated in New Zealand, and it does not mean that you will be automatically eligible for My Vaccine Pass (for use inside New Zealand). My Vaccine Pass How to apply To apply to have your overseas vaccination(s) entered into the CIR you will need to send evidence to the Ministry of Health. You will need to send the following information to

  1. your full name (first name, middle name and last name)

  2. your date of birth (DD/MM/YYYY)

  3. evidence of your vaccination through a vaccine certification issued from the country where you were vaccinated, or an equivalent documentation. This documentation must contain the following information:

  • your name (first and last)

  • the name(s) of the vaccines you received

  • the country where the vaccine(s) were administered

  • the date the vaccine(s) were administered.

Your vaccination record and evidence above must be in English or translated into English prior to applying. Good luck! Booster shots - Can I get one? Should I get one? When can I get one? I thought it’ll be easier for me to answer this in the form of an FAQ. A booster shot for covid19 is basically the same vaccine that we have had - but we get an extra 3rd dose. Your chances of getting side effects are not increased, it’s pretty much the same as getting the 2nd dose. In the discussion below - when I talk about the vaccine I will be referring to the mRNA Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that all New Zealanders are getting. Can I get one? Everyone who lives in New Zealand aged 18 and over can get a 3rd pfizer-BioNtech vaccine 6 months after their 2nd vaccination. There is a suggestion that the Pfizer vaccine might work better as a regular 3 shot schedule rather than 2. Should I get one? Yes. Immunity from the vaccines start to wane from as early as 1 month post 2nd vaccine. After about 5 months there is a measurable drop in protection. Against hospitalizations and deaths, the protection drops from 99% to 92% after 5 months. Against any symptomatic infection (i.e mild cold like symptoms to severe infections) protection drops about 11.7x. To be very clear - protection against severe infection is still quite good. But it does drop. You are also more likely to actually get sick. When you are first vaccinated you have a 60% protection against any illness at all, and then this drops. Getting a 3rd booster dose will bring your protection back up. Should I time the booster dose? Some people have asked if they should time their booster dose for just before winter, to get more protection over that period. It probably isn’t a good idea, because our peak infection rates are likely to be over Christmas and New Year when more people are mingling indoors and outdoors. Also - there is a risk of overthinking things. I strongly suggest that you get your booster as soon as possible to be in the best possible shape for the Christmas/New Year period. That’s when you’re most likely to catch COVID. How long will the booster shot last? Don’t know. We should get 6 month post booster dose data from Israel and USA in February 2022. That is pretty good - because it will give us an idea of whether regular booster doses are useful or not. It has been argued that maybe the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is better off as a 3 jab schedule rather than 2. I hope this helps in your decision making about the booster shot. In short - I’m very positive about this and I highly recommend you get it done as soon as possible. You can start booking your 3rd booster dose online from 26 November 2021. Or just walk in from the 29 November 2021 onwards. Please rate us google maps, it helps people find us! Click on this link to rate us:

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