Te rongoā āraimate mō te te whakapokenga korokoro, te pakaua hukihuki, te mare tekekō, te whakamemeke, te mate ate kakā momo B, me te mate haemophilus influenzae momo b (Hib) Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, hep B, and Hib vaccine

This vaccination is free for babies at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 5 months. Your pēpi (baby) needs all 3 doses to be fully protected. It protects against 6 vaccine-preventable diseases in 1 injection.

What this vaccine protects you from


Diphtheria is a serious disease that can easily spread from person to person (especially within whānau) through coughing and sneezing.

It causes a skin infection but can also affect the throat causing breathing difficulties.

Diphtheria was a common cause of death in children until the 1940s. But this disease is now very rare in New Zealand because of immunisation.

Find out more information about diphtheria.



This rare but serious disease is caused by bacteria found in soil and manure (horse or cow poo). You can get the disease if dirt carrying this bacteria gets into a wound — for example, if your tamariki gets a cut while playing in the garden.

Symptoms of tetanus disease include painful muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, chewing and swallowing. In the past, about 1 in 10 people who got tetanus would die from the disease.

Since we began immunising against tetanus in Aotearoa New Zealand, it has become a very rare disease. Almost all cases of tetanus have happened in unvaccinated people.


Whooping cough

Whooping cough (pertussis) causes breathing difficulties and severe coughing fits. The cough can go on for weeks or months which is why it’s sometimes called the ‘100 day cough’.

Having severe whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, seizures, and other neurological (brain) issues. More than half of babies under 12 months old who catch it need to go to hospital, and up to 1 in 50 of these babies die.

It is very contagious. It can easily spread between family members by coughing and sneezing. It can also spread quickly around early education centres and schools.

Whooping cough is not under control in Aotearoa New Zealand, and when outbreaks occur, it affects thousands of people.

Whooping cough


Polio is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms include headache, diarrhoea, tiredness, and pain in the limbs, back and neck.

In serious cases, it can cause paralysis (muscle weakness) and death. About 1 in 20 hospitalised patients die and up to 1 in 50 patients who survive are permanently paralysed.

In Aotearoa, immunisation against polio started in 1961. Before polio vaccines were available, nearly every person became infected; with babies and young children most affected.

There is no cure for polio — it can only be prevented by immunisation. 

Until polio is completely eliminated overseas, there is still a risk of polio being imported into Aotearoa New Zealand.


Hepatitis B (hep B)

Hep B can easily spread through contact with the blood or bodily fluids (like saliva) of an infected person. For example, it can spread through cuts and scratches, or by sharing a drink bottle with an infected person.

It is a viral infection that can cause serious problems, including liver disease and liver cancer. Hep B cannot be cured but can be prevented with vaccination.

Hep B was a common disease in Aotearoa New Zealand until a vaccine was introduced in the 1980s.

Hepatitis B

Haemophilus influenzae type b (hib)

Hib is a bacteria that causes life-threatening illnesses in young children. It spreads through the air by breathing, coughing and sneezing.

It most often leads to:

  • meningitis — an infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord
  • epiglottitis — an infection and swelling in the throat that makes it difficult to breathe.

Although doctors can treat Hib with antibiotics, some children still die. Others risk permanent brain and spinal cord damage.

The disease has almost disappeared since the vaccine programme was introduced in the 1990s.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (hib)

When to get the vaccine

Tamariki need 3 doses of this vaccine. It is given to children for free when they are 6 weeks, 3 months, and 5 months old.

Further boosters to prevent some of these diseases are also on the schedule.

  • At 15 months: a Hib booster
  • At 4 years old: a diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio booster
  • At 11 years old: a tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough booster.

Book your vaccine

Find out how to book an immunisation appointment or how to catch up on missed ones.

Which vaccine is used

The vaccine we use in New Zealand is INFANRIX-HEXA.

It is given as an injection, normally into a muscle in your thigh.

INFANRIX-HEXA information — Medsafe (PDF 137KB) (external link)

Side effects and reactions

Like most medicines, vaccines can sometimes cause reactions. These are usually mild, and not everyone will get them.

Mild reactions are normal and show that your baby’s immune system is responding to the vaccine.

If your pēpi is going to have any reactions, they normally happen in the first few days after getting vaccinated. The vaccine itself is gone from your baby’s body within a few hours or days.

Common reactions

The most common reaction to the rotavirus vaccine is a slight fever.

Other common reactions to the rotavirus vaccine include:

  • not feeding as usual
  • crying, being upset, and hard to settle
  • runny poos within 7 days (mild diarrhoea)
  • vomiting within 7 days
  • tummy pain.

Serious reactions

An extremely rare side effect of the vaccine is called intussusception. This causes a blockage of the intestine.

Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately if your baby experiences any of these symptoms after immunisation:

  • severe stomach pain
  • persistent vomiting
  • blood in poos (stools)
  • a swollen belly
  • high fever (39°C and over).

Allergic reactions

Serious allergic reactions are extremely rare. Only about 1 in a million people will experience this.

Your vaccinator is well-trained and knows what to look for and can treat an allergic reaction quickly if it happens.

Serious allergic reactions normally happen within the first few minutes of vaccination. This is why you need to wait for up to 20 minutes after immunisation.

Call 111 if you are worried your baby is having a serious allergic reaction.

More information

Find more information about common side effects, what to look for and how to report side effects.

Vaccine side effects, reactions and safety

Kids Health

Whooping cough can make pēpi very sick and some pēpi can die. Having whooping cough immunisation in pregnancy protects pēpi in their first weeks of life. Start immunising pēpi the day they turn 6 weeks old to keep protecting them.


Infanrix-hexa is a combination vaccine that protects infants from six diseases. This vaccine requires three doses, at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months of age, to be fully effective and to induce long-lived immunity.


Find the locations that give childhood immunisations

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