A revocation to this notice was published on 23 November 2022, Notice No. 2022-go4985.

Notice Type
Notice Title

Specified COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Criteria

Pursuant to clause 9B(12) of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021, I, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, determine criteria in Schedule 1 below as specified COVID-19 vaccination exemption criteria.

Schedule 1




Criteria Details


All COVID-19 Vaccines


COVID-19 Infection

  • PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection until complete recovery from the acute illness.

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.


Serious Adverse Event to previous dose

  • Serious adverse event attributed to a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine with no other cause identified.
  • An adverse event is considered serious 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 to be associated with a risk of recurrence of the serious adverse event if another dose of the same vaccine is given.


Unable to tolerate administration due to risk to self or others

Unable to tolerate vaccine administration with resulting risk to themselves or others.


Pfizer Vaccine



  • Anaphylaxis to the first dose of the vaccine or known severe allergy to the excipients of the vaccine as per the datasheet provided to Medsafe.

This criterion will be removed as an exemption when there is an alternative vaccine available in New Zealand.

Many of these individuals will be able to be safely vaccinated in a controlled environment, and we recommend clinical immunologist/specialist assessment.


Myocarditis / Pericarditis

Myocarditis/pericarditis following the first dose of the vaccine.


Inflammatory Cardiac Illness

Inflammatory cardiac illness within the past 6 months including: acute myocarditis, pericarditis, endocarditis, acute rheumatic fever or acute rheumatic heart disease (ie, with active myocardial inflammation).


Acute Decompensated Heart Failure

Acute decompensated heart failure.


Trial Vaccine


Non-Placebo participant in a vaccine trial

Those who are confirmed as having the vaccine (i.e., non-placebo) in any COVID-19 vaccine trial in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Dated at Wellington this 12th day of November 2021.

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