Some individuals are at higher risk of vaccine-preventable diseases due to certain conditions or underlying disease, or through their occupation or other risk factors. These individuals fall under the category of ‘special groups’.
More information about Immunisation of special groups can be found in Chapter 4 of the Immunisation Handbook.
Vaccination is also recommended, although not funded, for those who are in close contact with individuals who are more vulnerable, or at high risk of complications.
Note: Vaccinators are advised to check the Pharmaceutical Schedule and any online updates (available on the PHARMAC website) for changes to funding decisions for special groups
People who have a medical condition or are receiving therapies that affect the function of their immune system, are at increased risk from vaccine-preventable disease and complications. Vaccination is highly recommended, but depending on the type and level of immunocompromise, they may not produce as robust a protective response compared to a healthy person. This means they are less protected by a vaccine, or protection can wane at a faster rate.
For further information about immunocompromised vaccination, including vaccination of close contacts, click here.
Pregnant women are recommended to receive the influenza and COVID-19 vaccine at any stage of pregnancy and the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, Boostrix from 16 weeks of pregnancy. Vaccination recommendations differ depending on the stage of pregnancy – for specific recommendations, please click here.