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The Southern District Health Board, initially a leader in the Covid-19 vaccination statistics, has fallen to be second last of all district health boards compared with the Ministry of Health’s vaccination plan.
However, of 20 DHBs, the Southern region still has the fifth highest number of vaccinations dispensed, 129,305.
The percentage fall is mainly attributable to coming at the point when the ministry expected Southern DHB to boost its rate of jabs from 7200 a week to 25,000.
Only Capital and Coast and the Hutt Valley DHBs were asked to make a leap of similar size.
They, like Southern, instead maintained a similar pace of vaccination to the previous week, ministry data showed.
‘‘Southern DHB provided an ambitious production plan, anticipating a high peak in August, reaching our targets for vaccinating our population early, and giving us a long tail to help us reach hard-to-reach populations by the end of the year,’’ SDHB vaccine rollout incident controller Hamish Brown said.
‘‘Reaching the peak was challenged by the shortage of supply through June and July; however, we are confident we will catch up.’’
In April, the Southern District Health Board’s vaccine rollout began with a hiss and a roar, and was 18% ahead of the ministry’s plan.
A fortnight ago the SDHB was 14% ahead of target, but numbers have dropped dramatically since, and new figures released by the ministry yesterday had Southern at 91% according to plan, 13,039 jabs behind target.
Only West Coast, at 87%, was further behind plan.
On Monday, Mr Brown told a DHB committee meeting he hoped 19,000 vaccines would be dispensed this week.
Yesterday he defended management of the vaccine rollout.
‘‘It is important to look at the volumes we are delivering each week, which continues to be high, thanks to the efforts of healthcare providers right across the district.
‘‘We are pleased to say that 77% of our over 60-year-olds are now either vaccinated or booked in for a vaccination.’’