Southern reaches 90% Covid vaxx milestone

The Meridian Covid-19 vaccination centre in Dunedin. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The Meridian Covid-19 vaccination centre in Dunedin. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The Southern region is the fifth district health board in New Zealand to achieve the 90% double Covid-19 vaccination mark.

The Ministry of Health said the board passed the milestone this morning.

The feat may have been reached not a moment too soon, as the Ministry also reported that a border case in the region was under investigation.

‘‘This person returned an initial weak positive test and a second test has returned a negative result,’’ a Ministry spokeswoman said in a statement this afternoon.

‘‘Public health staff are currently awaiting serology results for the person.’’

The Ministry said that ‘‘out of an abundance of caution’’ it would publish one location of interest: currently the sole southern location on its website is the Department of Conservation's Green Lake Hut in Fiordland National Park.

Officials regard the remote wilderness setting as a high-risk for anyone in the same venue.

"We would like to remind people of the importance of getting a test, especially if you were at or around the location of interest at the time or generally if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild they maybe."

Earlier this month it was announced that from December 15, all hikers over the age of 12 will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid to stay in DoC accommodation and campsites.

Karl Metzler is delighted Southern has reached 90% vaccination. "Thank you to the people of the...
Karl Metzler is delighted Southern has reached 90% vaccination. "Thank you to the people of the district for doing your bit to keep yourselves and your community safe." PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON

90% milestone reached ahead of Christmas target

Queenstown Lakes, Dunedin and Central Otago have also reached the 90% fully vaccinated milestone. 

Southern DHB Covid-19 vaccine rollout programme lead Karl Metzler was delighted the region had reached the 90% mark - well ahead of the Christmas target date.

“Thank you to the people of the district for doing your bit to keep yourselves and your community safe.

‘‘We also give a huge thanks to our partners, vaccinators and administrators across the southern health system who are crucial in delivering vaccinations to our communities.”

All of Southern’s local authorities had now also reached the 90% mark for eligible people having received their first dose Mr Metzler said.

‘‘This includes Clutha, Southland, Invercargill, Waitaki and Gore, and has been the result of very hard work by the community and local health providers over the last few weeks.

‘‘These five areas are well on track to meet the 90% target before Christmas.’’

Current vaccination rates across the district (as at December 7)

About 87% of southern Maori had received their first dose, ahead of the national rate, he said.

"We are still seeing strong demand for first and second doses across the region, and we will continue working hard to reach unvaccinated people to give them the best chance to protect themselves and their loved ones from Covid."

Mr Metzler said he understood many people who had not yet received their vaccinations may be feeling anxious or have questions and there were safe spaces at vaccination clinics to talk with a trained clinician.

"You can also talk to staff at your local vaccinating pharmacy, call 0800 28 29 26 or speak to a trusted health professional such as your GP. "

98 new community cases 

There were 24,913 total vaccine doses administered yesterday, including 4571 first doses and 10,652 second doses. To date, 93% of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 88% are fully vaccinated.

Nationally, 98 new community cases in the Delta outbreak were reported today: Auckland (74), Waikato (10), Bay of Plenty (8); Taranaki (1); Nelson Marlborough (5).

There are 66 people in hospital, including seven in intensive care.

There are 9266 cases in current community outbreak and 12,057 cases of Covid in total since the pandemic began in March last year.

Two Northland cases being investigated

In Northland, there are two new cases in Kaitaia, which will be officially counted in tomorrow's numbers.

The ministry said interviews were under way and links to extended family in the area were being investigated.

Anyone who visited Carrington Estate Karikari Peninsula on Saturday, November 20, and who became unwell subsequently is encouraged to get tested, even if they no longer have symptoms.



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