COVID-19 Vaccinations

Our Vaccination Progress - Day 34
Last updated Monday 21 June 2021, 10:00am *Updated daily

Eligible Cook Islands population: 10,189

How many vaccine doses have been administered in the Cook Islands so far:

9,755

First dose administered

8,069

Second dose administered

17,824

Total doses administered

Rarotonga dose 1 Vaccinations complete: 30 May

Aitutaki dose 1 Vaccinations complete: 2 June

Dose 2 Vaccinations for Rarotonga complete: 20 June

Dose 2 Vaccinations for Aitutaki currently underway

COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in the Cook Islands

The COVID-19 vaccine will be free and voluntary for eligible residents in the Cook Islands aged 16 and over, regardless of their visa or citizenship status. Any information collected will not be used for immigration purposes. We’ll have enough of the Pfizer vaccine for everyone to get the 2 doses they need to be protected. People under the age of 16 are not included for now, because the vaccines have not been tested on this age group yet.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step you can take to protect yourself, your family and our islands from the effects of the virus. It’s one way we can fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our welfare and wellbeing. By having the vaccine you’ll be playing your part to protect us all.

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout began on 18th May 2021

With the support of the New Zealand Government, we have managed to secure sufficient Pfizer vaccines to provide full coverage for all our eligible population.

Vaccination Process and Rollout, 12 May

ALL ISLANDS 18 May - 5 August 2021
ISLAND
1st DOSAGE
2nd DOSAGE
Rarotonga
18 May - 30 May
8 - 20 June
Aitutaki
31 May - 2 June
21 - 23 June
Mauke
28 - 29 June
20 - 21 July
Mitiaro
30 June - 1 July
22 July
Atiu
2 - 3 July
23 - 24 July
Mangaia
5 - 6 July
26 - 27 July
Pukapuka
8 - 9 July
29 - 30 July
Manihiki/ Penrhyn
12 - 15 July
2 - 5 August
Palmerston
TBC
TBC
Rakahanga
TBC
TBC
Nasaau
TBC
TBC
Suwarrow
TBC
TBC

*please note dates could change.

Quick Facts

Cook Island Promise
The Pfizer vaccine is available in the Cook Islands
Cook Island Promise
It is free to eligible people in the Cook Islands
Cook Island Promise
It is voluntary to receive the vaccine.
Cook Island Promise
A TMO representative will contact you for your appointment
Cook Island Promise
You will need to get 2 separate vaccine doses for the best protection

Videos

Prime Minister, Hon. Mark Brown, gets his COVID-19 vaccination

Vaccination Update 3 - Getting ready for your vaccination

Public Notice 1: Rarotonga COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout

FAQs with Dr. Teariki Puni

Vaccination Update 2 – What to expect

Vaccine Update 1 – Important numbers to call

Download Resources

COVID-19 Vaccination Information Sheet

Vaccination Process and Rollout, 12 May

Rarotonga Puna Vaccination Rollout, 15 May

All

Your Questions Answered

Why am I being offered a COVID-19 vaccination?

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step you can take to protect yourself, your family and community from the effects of the virus. It’s one way we can fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our welfare and wellbeing. By having the vaccine you’ll be playing your part to protect us all.

The free and voluntary COVID-19 vaccine will help protect and safeguard the people of the Cook Islands. It will save lives.

What COVID-19 vaccine is available in the Cook Islands?

The Pfizer vaccine will be rolled out across the whole of the Cook Islands.

The Pfizer vaccine will not give you COVID-19. It does not contain any live virus, or dead or deactivated virus. It works by triggering your immune system to produce antibodies and blood cells that work against the COVID-19 virus.

When will we begin the COVID-19 vaccine rollout?
The COVID-19 vaccination rollout began on 18th May 2021. With the support of the New Zealand Government, we have managed to secure sufficient Pfizer vaccines to provide full coverage for all our eligible population. A Te Marae Ora representative will make contact with each eligible person in the Cook Islands to arrange a date and time for an appointment.
Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the Cook Islands?

Everyone in the Cook Islands at the time of the vaccine roll out who is registered in the Ministry of Health patient database is eligible to receive the vaccine, regardless of your residency or permit status. You must also be aged 16 years or older on vaccination day.

Where will I go to get my COVID-19 vaccine?

In Rarotonga, all vaccinations are done at the Rarotonga Hospital in Nikao.
In the Pa Enua, the vaccine will be administered at a designated Health Centre.

If there are any changes, these will be communicated by Te Marae Ora.

Why have the Cook Islands chosen the Pfizer vaccine?

The decision to make Pfizer our primary vaccine provider includes:

  • it's shown to be approximately 95% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, seven days after receiving two doses
  • It is also being rolled out across New Zealand with over 87,000 people completed both doses at 5 May 2021
  • It is the vaccine that has been made available to us by New Zealand
  • all residents will have the chance to access the same vaccine
What is the process of getting the Pfizer vaccine?
  1. A TMO representative will call you to arrange your vaccination appointment.
  2. You will need to agree to be vaccinated.
  3. Then the healthcare worker will inject the vaccine into your arm.
  4. You’ll need to stay for at least 20 minutes after so a healthcare worker can check you’re ok.
  5. Once the healthcare worker says you’re fine, you can leave and carry on with your day.
  6. You will be asked to get your second dose of the vaccine at least 21 days later.
  7. You get your best protection against COVID-19 after 2 doses of the vaccine.
  8. If you have side effects or feel unwell after your vaccination, speak with your health professional, or call Tupapa Outpatients 20066.
Do I need to register for an appointment to get the vaccine?
No. If Te Marae Ora (TMO) representative has not already called you to arrange an appointment, and you would still like to receive the vaccine, go to the Nikao Social Centre to register.
Who will get vaccinated first?

The first immunisations will be given out to those working at the frontline, which includes the Vaccinators, Border and TMO workers. These are workers who undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing as part of their work. These groups include: TMO, Police, Airport, Seaport, Customs/Immigration officials, Agriculture, SQ facility workers. Household contacts of front line workers will also be vaccinated as part of the initial roll-out, after TMO and border workers have had their first dose. This will be followed by the General Public. TMO will contact you to schedule your appointment.

How many doses will I need to be completely vaccinated?

You’ll need two doses. The second dose is given at least three weeks later (21 or 24 days apart). It’s very important you get your second dose, you have your best protection (95%) once you have both doses.

Will I need to pay to get vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccinations will be free of charge.

Will children under the age of 16 be able to get the vaccine?

Medsafe has not registered a COVID-19 vaccine for use in children under the age of 16 as there is no information on the effect of the vaccine in younger age groups. Further research with vaccine trials enrolling children is underway overseas.

Who should not get vaccinated?

The vaccine is not recommended for people with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine should not take it.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is recommended for people aged 16 years and older.

What if I am taking other medication?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, including any medicines, vitamins or supplements that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have recently received any other vaccine. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about what medicines, vitamins or supplements you are taking and if these affect.

How do I update my TMO patient contact details?

Call 22664 between 8am – 4pm, Monday – Friday and speak to Pa Tauakume or Haumata Hosking. Or contact them on; Haumata 57481, Pa 57486, Philomena 57482 or Renee 57486. Alternatively, you can complete this Online TMO Patient Details form

What are the repercussions if I decline the COVID-19 vaccination?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary. Should you become infected with COVID-19 you may be required to cover isolation costs.

Will I get time off work to get vaccinated?

We encourage you to talk with your employer so you can work around your appointment date and time. It is highly encouraged that you do not miss your assigned appointment as this will affect your vaccination plan.

What if I am travelling to New Zealand or abroad during the rollout?

You are highly encouraged to defer travel overseas if you are planning on getting the COVID-19 vaccine. TMO cannot accommodate individual requests for personal appointments outside of the rollout plan as the vaccines have a short shelf life. Unnecessary travel is not encouraged during the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant?

Yes. Pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering the severe symptoms of COVID-19 including severe respiratory illness as well as increased risk of complications with childbirth. It is highly recommended that you talk to your health care professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?

As with all vaccines on the New Zealand Immunisation Schedule, there are no safety concerns about giving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to women who are breastfeeding. By being vaccinated, mothers can also provide some protection against COVID-19 for their babies via their breastmilk.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Like all medicines, the vaccine may cause side effects in some people. These are common. They are usually mild, don’t last long and won’t stop you from having the second dose or going about your daily life. The most common reported reactions are pain at the injection site, a headache and feeling tired or fatigued. Muscle aches, feeling generally unwell, chills, fever, joint pain and nausea may also occur.

Will TMO provide support for those who develop serious side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. If you experience any side effects after leaving either of your appointments or feel unwell, call the Tupapa Outpatients on 20066 who will be able to provide assistance. 

Does the vaccine protect us?

Research has shown that once fully immunized, the vaccine is 100% effective in reducing your chances of becoming severely unwell and being hospitalized if infected with COVID19. Your chances of contracting and passing the virus on is also reduced by 95%. 

How long will I be protected once I am fully immunized?

The COVID19 vaccines have only been around for less than a year. Research is currently showing that immunity has lasted for at least 8 to 9 months after being fully immunized. As time goes on, we will be able to collect more information on how long this immunity will last.

If I have an underlying health condition such as diabetes or hypertension, can I get the COVID19 vaccine?

Yes. Vaccination is an important layer of protection that adults with underlying conditions need to consider. Having an underlying health condition puts you more at risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19.

Can I still take my normal blood pressure medication before my vaccine appointment?

Yes. It is important that you continue to take your medications as advised by your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to a health care professional. 

Can I still take my normal diabetes medication before my vaccine appointment?

Yes. It is important that you continue to take your medications as advised by your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to a health care professional. 

Can I still contract COVID19 after being fully immunized?

Yes. The COVID19 vaccines do not provide you with 100% protection from contracting COVID19. However, research has shown that being fully immunized can reduce your chances of becoming severely unwell, being hospitalized and causing death. Research has also shown that you are 95% less likely to transmit the virus to another person once fully immunized.