A revocation and replacement to this notice was published on 11 March 2022, Notice No. 2022-go896.

Notice Type
Notice Title

Revocation and Replacement—Specified COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Criteria

Pursuant to section 5(3)(a) of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, I, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, determine the criteria in Schedule 1 below as specified COVID-19 vaccination exemption criteria:

Schedule 1

Category Criteria Details
1 Acute illness 1A. COVID-19 Infection
  • PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (within the last three months).
Note: Chronic symptoms following COVID-19 (“Long COVID”) is not a contraindication to COVID-19 vaccine but does warrant a clinical discussion with the patient regarding the benefits and risks.
1B. Acute moderate to severe (non-COVID) illness
  • Documented acute moderate to severe illness (e.g., severe pneumonia); and
  • advised to defer vaccination by a vaccination specialist (advice available to health care providers at IMAC, 0800IMMUNE@auckland.ac.nz).
  1C. High Dose Immunosuppression
  • Receiving high dose immunosuppressive treatment and vaccination would be more effective if deferred for a short period (several weeks) (eg. vasculitis).
2 Previous reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine 2A. Significant Adverse Reaction to previous dose
  • Significant adverse reaction (eg. diagnosed anaphylaxis) attributed to a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine with no other cause identified; and
  • inappropriate to rechallenge with same COVID-19 vaccine; and
  • no alternative appropriate COVID-19 vaccine available.
Note: An adverse reaction is considered significant for the purposes of these criteria if it:
  • requires in-patient hospitalisation or prolongation of existing hospitalisation or results in persistent or significant disability/incapacity; and
  • has been reported to CARM; and
  • has been determined following review by, and/or on the opinion of a relevant medical specialist that the risk of vaccination is greater than the potential benefits.
3 Pre-existing condition impacting on vaccination 3A. Vaccine administration needs a supportive arrangement to meet individual care requirements
  • Lead health practitioner has identified individual care requirements to support vaccine administration and the individual is unable to attend at an open access vaccination site; and
  • lead health practitioner needs time to arrange a suitably supportive environment or specialised care to administer the vaccine.
3B. Pre-existing diagnosis impacting on COVID-19 vaccination
  • Pre-existing diagnosis is a contra-indication to specific COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., pericarditis/myocarditis for Pfizer), and
  • no alternative appropriate COVID-19 vaccine available.
3C. Terminal illness
  • Life expectancy of less than 6 months
4 Vaccine Trials 4A. Non-Placebo participant in a vaccine trial
  • Those who are verified as having two doses of the trial vaccine (i.e., non-placebo) in any approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dated at Wellington this 17th day of January 2022.

Dr ASHLEY BLOOMFIELD, Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health.

Note: This notice revokes and replaces the notice dated 12 November 2021 and published in the New Zealand Gazette, 12 November 2021, Notice No. 2021-go4910.