The vaccine you are getting is called the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine is different to most traditional vaccines because it is a ‘messenger RNA’ vaccine (mRNA). These vaccines don’t use virus cells at all – instead they contain a piece of RNA code that teaches your body to recognise the virus. This means your body is ready to respond straight away if you get sick.
We know this vaccine is safe because it has gone through months of clinical testing with more than 40,000 people. Since then, millions of people around the world of all different ages, gender and ethnicities have received the vaccine with great results. From these studies, we know that the vaccine has a good safety record.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will not give you COVID-19. There is no possibility it could affect your DNA/genes. The chance of you having a severe allergic reaction is very rare, but if you do our vaccinators have been trained to respond immediately and know exactly what to do.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is currently the only vaccine approved for use in New Zealand. It was given MedSafe approval on 10 February for people 16 years or older. Two doses are needed, with at least 21 days between each dose. It's very important to get the second dose to provide the best protection against catching the virus.