Hipkins defends Covid vaccine clinics giving the jab to people outside of priority groups

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Apr 2021, 5:55PM
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Hipkins defends Covid vaccine clinics giving the jab to people outside of priority groups

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Apr 2021, 5:55PM

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed some people will be jumping the queue, and while he doesn't know the numbers, he believes it's a minority.

Only border, MIQ and high-risk frontline workers and a select group of Counties Manukau residents are eligible for the jab still.

But Newstalk ZB's Courtney Winter went to an Otara vaccination centre today and discovered that people who don't have appointments can line up without proving they are in one of those high risk groups. 

Questioned about it by Heather du Plessis-Allan, Hipkins told they cannot let vaccines go to waste. 

"There will be some instances where, for logisitical reasons, they will decide to go ahead," he says, such as small communities where it makes more sense to do a lot of people at once. 

"Our key expectation of the DHBs and those doing the vaccines is they will broadly follow the framework, but they do have some discretion where it's pragmatic and sensible to vary that to do so."

He could not comment specifically on this situation, as Winter went to the Otara clinic in the morning and waited in line. Hipkins says he cannot comment on how many people may be doing that, but that clinics are allowed to be pragmatic. 

"If you get a household of elderly people from South Auckland coming along who meet the criteria to be vaccinated, and they've got a grandchild living with them who they bring along at the same time to be vaccinated, doing that family at the same time is a pragmatic and sensible thing to do."

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