Catching up on missed immunisations

If your child has missed a vaccination, it’s okay – they can catch up for free on most immunisations. Our friends at Te Whatu Ora explain what to do.

Sometimes life gets busy and things get in the way, which means you miss a scheduled vaccination. Although getting immunised on time is recommended for the best protection, it’s easy to catch up. Catch-up immunisations are free for all tamariki under 18 years old. Lots of catch-up adult immunisations are also free. Just contact your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider and make a plan.


To find out if you, or your tamariki, have had all their immunisations, or if there are some to catch up on, you can:

  • Check your Well Child Tamariki Ora My Health Book (previously called Plunket Book), or
  • Phone and talk to your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider.

Lots of adults do not have their Plunket Books anymore and often individual vaccinations were not recorded. So to check whether you’ve been vaccinated, contact your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider.

If you’re not able to confirm an immunisation was given, your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider may advise you to play it safe and get immunised anyway. It’s better to be vaccinated and protected.


If your pēpi (baby) missed their rotavirus immunisation

Rotavirus is the only immunisation that cannot be caught up on after a certain date. The first dose of the rotavirus vaccine must be given before your baby turns 15 weeks old, and the second dose before they’re 25 weeks old.

Measles catch-ups for adults and tamariki

It’s very important for as many people as possible to be immunised against measles because Aotearoa New Zealand is at very high risk of a measles outbreak. Anyone born after 1968 who is unable to confirm that they’ve already had two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, should get immunised. There’s no risk in having extra doses.

Meningococcal B catch ups

On 1 March 2023, free meningococcal B immunisation was added to the National Immunisation Schedule for babies. It’s also been made free for all tamariki under 5 years old (free until 31 August 2025). Young people entering into close-living situations such as boarding schools, hostels, halls of residence, military barracks, or prisons are also recommended to receive both the MenACYW and MenB vaccines for best protection.

Free catch-ups for eligible adults over 18 years old

It’s important to check everyone in your whānau is up to date with their immunisations, especially if anyone is leaving home for the first time, thinking of starting a family, beginning a career, or travelling overseas. Eligible adults aged 18 and over can still get some free immunisations if they’ve not had them before. This includes:

  • Tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (Boostrix)
  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) – free for everyone born from 1 January 1969 onwards who hasn’t already had two recorded doses
  • HPV (free until 26 years old)
  • COVID-19

Check with your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider about eligibility.


You can create a personalised immunisation schedule for your child, based on their birth date and the recommended immunisations, at

Scroll to Top