Kiwis vaccinated overseas forced into third shot to qualify for vaccine certificate

Kiwi's who received doses of Pfizer vaccine overseas are getting re-vaccinated in order to qualify for the vaccine certificate.

One woman says she's reached out to the Ministry of Health for guidance but they've simply stopped responding to her.

Laurielle Shannon recently moved back to New Zealand from the UK and received her third COVID jab on Thursday. 

She feels it's a waste and is "unnecessary" forcing people in her situation to get another dose of the vaccine. 

"If anything it feels unnecessary," Laurielle Shannon tells Newshub. "It's a dose that could go to someone else." 

She received her first COVID vaccine in the UK and her second in New Zealand, but record of her first dose isn't recognised here.

"I offered records of my first jab from the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK but I kind of just got hit with a blank wall," Shannon says. "I got declined by the Ministry of Health and then they stopped replying to me." 

Last week the Government announced vaccine certificates will come into play towards the end of the year, allowing the fully vaccinated certain freedoms. 

But there is still no system in place to recognise those immunised overseas.

"Before the vaccine certificates are made available, there will be an opportunity for those who've been vaccinated with an approved vaccine abroad to make sure they're providing that information so that it can be included in the vaccine certificate," COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.  

But that's still a long way off. 

The Ministry of Health says it still needs to work through the forms of proof it'll accept, who will then verify that proof and enter it into the COVID-19 immunisation register.

The opposition says the Government is playing catch up on a foreseeable problem. 

"All the way along we've been slow, slow to roll it out, slow to develop the app, slow to develop vaccine authentication and now slow to recognise vaccines delivered overseas," National Party MP Chris Bishop says.  

The Government has now shed some light on the problem. 

"As long as they've got a record of that vaccination that they can supply when we have got that part of the system ready then they won't have to do that again," Hipkins says.

But Shannon isn't convinced the system will include her details in time.

"Hopefully they improve it, but I really don't have much hope anymore," Shannon says 

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