Chris Hipkins and Dr. Ashley Bloomfield give a vaccine update

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 12:56PM

Chris Hipkins and Dr. Ashley Bloomfield give a vaccine update

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 May 2021, 12:56PM

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said there have been more than 388,000 vaccines administered across New Zealand. 120,000 of those have had their second doses.

Director-general of health Ashely Bloomfield said there is one new Covid-19 case in MIQ - none in the community.

Bloomfield said the current assessment of the public health risk to New Zealand from the community case in Melbourne is low.

He said officials have advised quarantine-free travel can continue.

Yesterday there were 14,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine administered and things are tracking ahead of the planned rollout.

Hipkins said the Government will hit the half million mark within the next fortnight.

He thanked the workers across the country who are "delivering really good results".

In the last week, Auckland tipped over the 150,000 mark when it comes to Covid-19 jabs.

More than 80,000 people got the Covid vaccine in the past weel, Hipkins said.

He said the Government's booking system is working well ahead of the national vaccine rollout.

He said the vaccine rollout was an "evolving process" and the Government will continue to "refine" its logistics.

He said in the early stages there will be "teething troubles", particularly at the bigger and busier centres.

Hipkins had a message for people in group 4 - people aged under 65 and without any underlying health conditions - please refrain to walking up to a vaccination clinic at this stage.

That is because people who do have a booking might miss out, and people in groups 1, 2 and 3 must be prioritised for now.

People booking in first will help avoid people missing out and reduce congestion.

Today's update comes as the Government faces pressure over the operations of some of its vaccine sites – specifically one in Auckland.

The Herald reported that one site was described as a "shambles" after an 81-year-old was turned away from her pre-booked appointment when the site closed temporarily yesterday due to a lack of space.

Wendy Carpenter and her mother Robin Cornish arrived at the Highbrook site just before the 11am appointment yesterday to find a long queue of cars stretching along Highbrook Rd.

But, despite waiting in a queue for nearly half an hour, they were told the site had to close due to a lack of car parks.

"[It's] frustrating, it was a shambles," Carpenter told the Herald.

"It didn't look organised or in control at all to me."

The frustrating incident comes as multiple Auckland vaccination sites are trialling walk-in vaccinations, a protocol which goes against current Ministry of Health advice that an appointment is necessary - prompting a call of concern from an expert vaccinologist.

Hipkins may be asked about this when briefing media this afternoon.

So far, some 304,900 have received the Covid-19 vaccination – that figure is expected, by the Government, to have surpassed 1 million people by late June.

Also today, Bloomfield will provide a more general Covid-19 update.

There were no new cases of Covid-19 in the community yesterday, according to health officials.

There are also no new cases to report in recent returnees in our managed isolation facilities.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is three and two previously reported cases have now recovered.

Meanwhile, flights to and from New South Wales have now resumed, after briefly being suspended due to Covid-19 transmission concerns across the Tasman.

"However, anyone who was at a location of interest in Sydney at the times specified must follow NSW health advice regarding isolation and testing," officials said.

"In addition, they must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days from when they were at the location."

As restrictions remain in place around Greater Sydney, travellers to Greater Sydney are advised to be careful when travelling and safeguard themselves, by wearing a facemask and maintaining physical distance wherever they go, officials said.