One million target - Ministry of Health unveils vaccine plan

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Apr 2021, 10:48AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

One million target - Ministry of Health unveils vaccine plan

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Apr 2021, 10:48AM

More than one million New Zealanders are expected to be vaccinated by the end of June, according to the Ministry of Health's newly released plan.

It comes after the Government refused to share its progress numbers on the Ministry of Health website following multiple request from the Herald and criticism of messy handling of public health data.

Today, the plan reveals a breakdown of the number of people who have so far been vaccinated at each District Health Board along with a weekly target of the number expected to be vaccinated by the end of June.

By June 30, the Ministry of Health expects at least 1,161,952 New Zealanders should have received their first jab.

Almost half of those (497,991 people) will be from the Auckland metro region, which accounts for about 26 per cent of its population.

At Canterbury DHB, nearly 100,100 people (16 per cent of the population) should have been given their first dose by then.

And at Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley, at least 65,000 people (20 per cent of its population) should have had their first jab.

Auckland University vaccines expert Dr Helen Petousis-Harris told the Herald that target was absolutely achievable and the rate that people were being vaccinated was just getting faster and faster.

"We can't apply how many we have done over the last couple of weeks to how many we can get done in the next couple of months because each week we have got an ever increasing number of vaccinators and our systems are expanding, such as the number of sites we have available."

In order for every New Zealander to be vaccinated by the end of the year, it will mean that about one million people will need the jab each month.

Petousis-Harris said again that was doable.

"Last year with the flu vaccine rollout, 1.7 million people were vaccinated in six or eight weeks so I think we have got this."

She said it was a matter of getting our systems and processes working well because that's what has been slowing us down.

It's crucial that the ministry releases the number of vaccinators that are available in each region and that we can be assured we have enough, Petousis-Harris said.

To date, 135,000 doses have been administered across the country to 105,000 New Zealanders.

The most common demographic to receive the vaccination so far are those between the age of 30 and 39. More than 21,000 in that age bracket have had their first job and more than 6000 have had both.

More than 60,000 females have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and more than 41,000 males.

Despite having a bigger population than six other regions, Taranaki DHB is planned to have the lowest coverage with only 7 per cent of its population vaccinated by June 30.