COVID-19 Updates

22 September 2021

New Zealand is at Alert Level 2, with the exception of Auckland, which is at Alert Level 3.

VACCINE ROLLOUT PLAN

How do I book a vaccination?
  1. Click on this link to take you to a booking page. It’s a good idea to have your NHI (National Health Index) number handy. You don’t need it in order to book but it will speed up the process
  2. If you have been given an access code, type it in (you don’t need one to proceed however)
  3. Complete the registration details
  4. Select a location, date and time for your first and second doses
  5. You’ll get a confirmation text and email
I need help with booking

Contact Vaccination Helpline on 0800 28 29 26 between 8:00am – 8:00pm, 7 days / week or booking@vaccine.covid19.health.nz

I need a sign language interpreter

Contact booking@vaccine.covid19.health.nz to request a booking and a sign language interpreter together.

Information in alternate formats and other languages are available here

COVID-19 vaccine opportunity for disabled people and their carers in Auckland

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre have issued the following information:

Supporting people aged over 16 years old with disabilities, and their carers, to get their COVID-19 vaccine is a priority for the metro Auckland vaccination programme.  

Invitations to book a COVID-19 vaccination will be sent to people with disabilities and their carers from now through to the end of July by Taikura or the provider of your support services.

Many paid and unpaid support workers have already been invited to book but some may not have yet, so they will receive invitations at the same time.  

The Northern Region’s COVID-19 vaccination website has the details of our current community vaccination centres, including opening hours here. They are currently undertaking accessibility audits of their vaccination centres and information about the accessibility of each site will be updated on the website. This website also provides answers to some common vaccine-related questions.

A number of people have asked about the Medsafe provisional approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds. Youth aged 12 to 15 cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine until Cabinet have approved a ‘decision to use’. Cabinet are expected to consider this issue soon. If Cabinet approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, the Ministry of Health will provide advice about how young people will be able to access their vaccinations as part of the rollout.

For more info, visit the Northern Region Health website or call their vaccination helpline on 0800 28 29 26.

Remember that the Covid-19 vaccination is FREE. Some people have reported scams or other misinformation. Here’s more info if you have noted anything suspicious.

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, the plan, and how it will roll out for our whānau and our communities. Download the infosheet here

COVID-19 information specifically for family, whānau and āiga carers is available to download here. It’s a handy resource to keep close by.

Find out when you can get a vaccine

The Pfizer vaccine is free and available to everyone aged 16 and over. Detailed information, including current data and statistics about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in New Zealand, numbers who have received the vaccine and how we’re tracking, is available here.

Everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over will be in 1 of 4 groups for their COVID-19 | KOWHEORI-19 vaccinations. If you are 16 or over, use this tool to find out if you’re in Group 1, 2, 3, or 4, which will then determine the time frame for when you are able to receive the vaccine.

Information for Pacific Peoples

Information in other languages

Foodbanks

https://www.foodbank.co.nz/foodbanks

 If you are unable to get a grant from Work and Income, you may be able to get an emergency supply of groceries (ie a food parcel) from a local food bank. These are run by charities and rely on donations of fresh and packaged foods.

It is important to know that there is usually an intake process involved.

 For example, depending on the food bank you may need:

a letter of referral from Work and Income, a budgeting service, church or CAB or a bank statement showing that you are on a low income;

to meet eligibility criteria;

to show that you are getting budgeting help;

to show proof of your identity and/or your address;

to be limited to a maximum number of food parcels per year

Have your needs changed or have the needs of the person you care for changed?

Contact your  local NASC

To find your local NASC

Refer to Ministry Of Health information 

Keeping safe

Carers NZ has put together some general guidelines on keeping safe through Covid-19. We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time, particularly when you’re responsible for supporting others. If you are caring for others it is important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you look after, and we want to reassure you that we are here to guide you to what support there is out there.

Extending flexibility for Carer Support and Individualised Funding

The Disability Directorate of the Ministry of Health will continue flexibility of carer support and individualised funding for eligible people from 1 March 2021.

Carer Support is a subsidy to support full-time carers of disabled people to have a break (respite) from their caring responsibilities. Individualised Funding allows disabled people to directly manage their supports (personal cares, home management and respite).

This flexibility means that people can continue to buy the support appropriate for them within guidelines, instead of being limited by the rules on what support funding can be used for.  You can find the guidelines of what you can buy here. What People Can Buy with Disability Funding: Ministry of Health NZ | Purchasing Guidelines.

For further queries: customerservice@health.govt.nz or phone 0800 855 066 option 4.

We Care Kiwi

With IHC, Carers NZ launched wecare.kiwi to help carers and people living alone get through COVID19. It’s free and easy to register. and we will assist however we can with a helping hand or listening ear – check-ins and practical support. We know that although the majority of New Zealanders have been adjusting their routines according to current alert levels, if you are caring for someone, you may have had to maintain your own bubble through a much longer period. For more info call 0800 777 797 or email centre@carers.net.nz

Contact tracing 

COVID-19 Tracer App information can be found here: NZ COVID Tracer app | Unite against COVID-19

If you want to use the app but are concerned about data usage, you may want to wait until you’re connected to WiFi before you download the app. Once downloaded, ongoing data usage is minimal.  A very small amount of data is used when you register your contact information or when your phone checks for contact alerts.

If you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has the virus, you can expect calls from Ministry of Health and Healthline. It is important to answer your phone. Find out how to recognise a call from the Ministry or Healthline at Contact tracing

PPE Guidance

Information can be downloaded here on current guidelines regarding gloves, masks, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) used by community care providers (includes aged residential care, aged-related community care, disability, hospice, and homecare).

PPE information from the Ministry of Health: What’s important for you to know about PPE.

PPE for people accessing disability supports in Auckland

If you or your carers need PPE, and receive your disability support through Taikura Trust:

1. If you have a service provider regularly coming to your home to provide support to you or your family member, they will organise PPE for you.

2. If you use Individualised Funding, your Individualised Funding Host will help you access the PPE you need.

3. If you receive Carer Support and no other services, you and/or your carers can access PPE through a new service. For more info, contact Independent LivingVaka Tautua or Taikura Trust

Services and Support

Info on government services which include temporary accommodation, mental health, social service providers, is available here.

Mental health and wellbeing

Mental health toolkit Getting Through Together gives practical mental health advice and support during COVID-19, and includes  Sparklers at Home, which helps parents talk with their primary-school-aged children about mental health and wellbeing.

More info on accessing wellbeing services can be found here and here.

Healthline

The government has issued guidance about who is at increased risk. If you are worried that you or someone you look after may be at risk of contracting COVID-19, Healthline can offer direct, free guidance on 0800 358 5453.

For non-coronavirus health concerns, Healthline provides this number – 0800 611 116.

COVID-19 information from the Ministry of Health that is specific to those who look after a sick or disabled person.

Information for businesses, employees and employers

Employment New Zealand has put together some guidance for support options for businesses, employees and employers.

Being prepared

If you become unwell and would need to stop caring while you recover, what alternative care arrangements are needed? This would be a difficult situation for many carers and those they support – for them, life cannot simply be put on hold. Read our advice on creating a contingency plan. For example, you can ensure key information is made readily available for professionals.

Tell your GP that you are a carer

Let your GP know that you have caring responsibilities. They can include these details on your medical records.

If you have a good GP, they will provide as much information and support as possible to help you feel more confident in your caring role. However, you may have to ask. Some things to think about:

  • arranging home visits if it is difficult to attend in person
  • arranging ‘double’ appointments for both you and the person you care for at the same time
  • arranging for repeat prescriptions to be delivered to your local pharmacy to save you picking them up, or options which deliver direct to your home or the person you care for
  • providing supporting letters and information in order to access available services

Health and Disability Services Consumers’ rights

Info on the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ rights for health and disability services in the COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 health advice and information

Call FREE 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with access to interpreters. For more info on caring for yourself and others who have, or may have, COVID-19 at home, download the Ministry of Health’s infosheet.

Accessible Information

NZ Sign Language (NZSL) | Easy Read | Large Print & Audio

Te Reo Māori, nine Pacific languages, simplified Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese All translations here

Information for Pacific peoples.