Southern vaccination rates ahead of ministry’s schedule

The Southern region is once more in the vanguard of the march to vaccinate New Zealanders against Covid-19.

After a slight dip in high vaccination rates across the region a fortnight ago, the pace has picked up again.

As of yesterday, 24,213 doses of the first Covid-19 vaccination had been given in the South — 15% ahead of the plan laid out by the Ministry of Health.

That ranks the Southern District Health Board eighth of 20 DHBs in vaccination rates.

The SDHB is 3219 overall injections ahead of schedule, and the region has 8863 residents who have received their second shots and are fully vaccinated.

Nationally, 388,877 doses of the vaccine have been dispensed so far, more than 23,000 ahead of the ministry plan.

About 120,000 New Zealanders are now fully immunised.

SDHB Covid-19 vaccine incident controller Hamish Brown said vaccination of southerners in group 2 — frontline health staff and others considered at high risk — was continuing apace.

Work had also started on people in group 3, the elderly and people considered at high risk if they contracted Covid-19.

"We have been vaccinating some people in group 3 in rural areas since early May through contingency lists, to avoid vaccine waste and in those areas where group 2 is smaller and operating at scale is more efficient," Mr Brown said.

The SDHB was now preparing to roll out the vaccine to the wider group 3 cohort more formally, to meet ministry targets

"Due to the large area covered by Southern DHB, and the small populations in some rural areas, this will be a staged rollout," Mr Brown said.

  • One new Covid-19 case was reported in managed isolation and quarantine facilities yesterday.


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