Northland health authorities are encouraging people to get their third jab after new regulations for the Covid vaccine booster kicked in yesterday.
From Wednesday, the interval between the second dose and the booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine reduces from six months to four.
"We are urge all whānau, who are eligible to have the booster dose, to please do so," Mark McGinley, Northland District Health Board incident controller Covid-19 said.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced the changes to the vaccination strategy in December in an effort to keep the Omicron out of the community for as long as possible.
"You can book an appointment for a booster dose by calling the Covid Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26, 8am-8pm, seven days a week," McGinley explained.
From January 17, Northlanders can also book their booster doses via BookMyVaccine.nz with the new interval regulations.
"Boosters are strongly recommended for anyone over 18 who has had their second dose at least four months ago."
January 17 also marks the launch of the paediatric vaccine for tamariki aged between 5-12.
Those aged 12 and over are already eligible.
"This holiday period could be a good time for whānau to start having the conversation about vaccinating tamariki," McGinley said.
The advice from the Northland DHB comes as the region's vaccination rate remains at 84 per cent fully vaccinated. Eighty-nine per cent of Northlanders have had at least one shot.
Northland is still bringing up the rear in the national vaccine rollout.
No new cases of Covid-19 were reported yesterday with five cases remaining active in the community.
Nationally, the Ministry of Health reported 17 new community cases and confirmed a third case of Omicron.
Northland DHB reiterated their messaging around testing and "strongly encouraged" people to get tested over the holidays if they have cold or flu symptoms.
People are asked to stay home if they are unwell and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.
"Continue to take the usual steps to protect yourself against Covid-19; wear a face mask when you're visiting shops or businesses, or accessing healthcare, and use the Covid-19 tracer app to scan everywhere you go," McGinley said.
Information about vaccination and testing centres can be found on northlanddhb.org.nz/home/covid-19/.