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Frequently asked questions about athlete vaccines

Frequently asked questions about athlete vaccines

1. Our NZ age group athlete/team has qualified for international competition and plans to travel before 31 August. Can we apply for early vaccines?

No. The early access to vaccination on grounds of national significance is only considered for those Senior/Open athletes travelling overseas to represent New Zealand in international pinnacle events.  Age group athletes/teams and junior world cup/championship events do not meet the criteria. 

Official advice is that New Zealanders should not travel internationally. 

 2. I have a professional contract and plan to travel for international events before 31 August. Can I apply for early vaccines? 

 No. The early access to vaccination on grounds of national significance is only available to people who are required to travel to represent New Zealand (as selected by their NSO) at a senior international pinnacle event. 

 3. I have been approved for early access to vaccination. Can my training partners apply also? 

No. Training partners do not meet the criteria, as they are not traveling to represent New Zealand 

Coaches and support crew who are indispensable members of the team that is traveling to represent New Zealand may apply. 

4. Our relevant sporting event of national significance is after 31 August. We need to compete internationally to earn qualification for that significant event. Can we apply for early vaccines? 

We are aware of this situation for some athletes/teams preparing for World Championship events later this year and the Commonwealth Games in 2022. We will need more information about your qualifying requirements/events and reasons for needing to travel including evidence of being on track to qualify for the pinnacle event. Please contact 

5. I am planning travel to Australia. Can I be vaccinated before I go, in case anything changes while I’m there? 

No. Applications for early access to the vaccine will not be considered for those traveling to a country New Zealand has approved for quarantine-free travel, which currently includes Australia. 

6. I’ve already received one dose of the vaccine because I am a close contact of a border worker. Can I apply through the Sport NZ process for the second dose? 

No. Your second appointment should have been booked at the time of your first appointment. Your second appointment should be at least three weeks after your first. If you don’t have an appointment for your second dose, please contact your local DHB.  

7. I need to leave New Zealand in less than three weeks for a qualifying/preparation event, but will return in about three weeks. Can I get one dose of the vaccine before I leave, and the second when I return? 

No. The criteria for early access to the vaccine includes that you must be able to get two doses before you travel.   

However, if you are eligible for the vaccine and require further travel before 31 August within the criteria (e.g. to the Olympics or Paralympics or other major event) then you should apply to be vaccinated on your return. 

8. Is it mandatory to be vaccinated before I leave or return to New Zealand? 

No. However, vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly recommended.  

9. What is the detailed information that I will need to provide if my pre-application is approved? 

The detailed information required to proceed to the next level of approval includes  

      • Completion of consent to share information for the purposes of accessing the vaccine 
      • Completion of consent to be vaccinated 
      • Full legal name 
      • Date of birth 
      • Gender 
      • Residential address 
      • National Health Index number 
      • Contact phone number 
      • Planned date of departure from NZ 

Sport NZ will supply a template to collate this information in the required format.  

10. How long will it take for my application to be considered? When will I know whether I can access the vaccine? 

Applications need to be received at least six weeks before required travel to allow Sport NZ time to review, assess and quality assure any information provided, and for the Ministry of Health to undertake its review and decision processes. 

The approval process is two step – Sport NZ is required to consider your eligibility against the criteria then refer the application to the Ministry of Health for a final decision. From submission of a full, complete application to Sport NZ we expect: 

You should hear from Sport NZ within one week if your application has been passed on to the Ministry of Health 

A decision is expected from the Ministry within a further five days. 

11. How will I know that my request has been approved, and what should I do then? 

If approved, the Ministry of Health will send an email to the email address provided in your application. This will include instructions about how to arrange your vaccination.   

It is up to you to make an appointment that ensures you have time for both doses (three weeks apart) before you travel. If you don’t allow time for the second dose, you will no longer be eligible for the first dose. 

12. I’ve been advised that my request for early access to the vaccine has been approved. I plan to travel in less than 4 weeks but haven’t yet received information about how to make an appointment for the first vaccine dose. What should I do? 

Please contact 

13. I’ve received the first dose of the vaccine but haven’t received confirmation of my appointment for second dose. What should I do? 

Your second vaccination should be booked at your first appointment. If not, contact your DHB.  

14. What should I do if my departure date changes? (either because the event has been delayed, or because I have decided to delay my travel for the event to allow more time to be vaccinated) 

When your vaccine appointment is confirmed, you’ll get instructions on what to do if you need to reschedule your appointment for any reason. 

15. We have a team request. Do I need to complete the Sport NZ pre-application form for each team member or just one for the team? 

You should complete the Sport NZ pre-application request for the team. If your pre-application request is approved, we will then require detailed personal information for each person.  We will give you a template to supply this information if we agree that you meet the eligibility criteria.  

16. We have definite plans for team travel, but don’t yet know who will be confirmed in team selection. Can we include the long list of potential team members in the detailed application? 

You can contact Sport NZ via to confirm your eligibility for early vaccine access, however we cannot process applications without confirmed individual names and details.    

17. Close contacts of border workers were able to be vaccinated when border workers were. Can my family or other close contacts be vaccinated at the same time as I am? 

 No. The approval for early access to vaccinations for participation in a sport event of national significance is available only to the people who must travel for that event.  

18. Can I apply directly to the Ministry of Health or my District Health Board (DHB) 

No. Under the Early Vaccine Access approach, Sport NZ is the sponsoring agency for all applications for the purpose of participating in a sport event of national significance.  MOH or your DHB will not take applications for this reason other than those submitted through Sport NZ. 

19. Is the vaccine safe? 

Medsafe only grants consent for a vaccine to be used in New Zealand once they are satisfied it’s safe and effective enough to use. All COVID-19 vaccines will go through the same safety test and must meet the same robust standards. 

You should talk to your medical director or GP if you are unsure about whether to be vaccinated.  

Information is available here

20. Does being fully vaccinated mean I do not have to undergo the required 14 days of Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) on return to New Zealand. 

At this time, MIQ is still a requirement for entry to New Zealand, even for fully vaccinated people.  

21. Is there any cost for the vaccination? 

COVID-19 vaccination is provided at no cost.  

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