‘Disappointing’: Concerns over meagre Ashburton vaccinations

An Ashburton councillor says "disappointingly" low vaccination numbers, particularly among older age groups, is leaving the community vulnerable.

Recent figures show less than half of Ashburton residents aged 60 and over were fully vaccinated, with less than 40 per cent of that group having received both vaccination doses.

Urban ward councillor Carolyn Cameron said those numbers were "very disappointing".

"Our over-60s should we well and truly vaccinated," she said.

"If we're under 40 per cent...then we're vulnerable and that's disappointing.
"When you've got people getting through borders and not aware of the rules and coming down here."

Last week, the Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) revealed vaccination numbers pertaining to the Ashburton district, highlighting figures significantly down on national rates.

"Over 3,400 people aged 60 and over in the Ashburton district have received both their first and second doses and a further 2,500 people have received their first dose vaccinations," DHB acting senior responsible officer for he Covid-19 response Ralph LaSalle said.

The numbers did not relate to the Methven Medical Centre and Ashburton's Wises Pharmacy, who were managing their own booking systems.

District-wide vaccination numbers across all ages in Ashburton sat at about half of national figures, with less than 15 per cent of the population fully vaccinated and about 32 per cent having received one or more doses.

The DHB confirmed more than 55 per cent of the wider Canterbury region had received at least one dose, which was aligned with the national picture.

But the numbers of those fully vaccinated in Canterbury were lagging, with more than 18 per cent of the population having received both jabs as of last week.

About 30 per cent of New Zealand's population were fully vaccinated and more than half the population had received at least one Covid jab.

The increase of pop-up clinics in Mid Canterbury had begun to ramp up the district's vaccination rollout over the past couple of weeks.

- by Adam Burns, local democracy reporter

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