'People out in droves': Big vaccine boost on Super Saturday

Health officials say 84 percent of people in this country have now had their first Pfizer dose after yesterday's Vaxathon.

Just short of 130,000 vaccine doses were given at the so-called Super Saturday events.

Of the 129,995 doses administered, 39,024 were first doses and 90,971 second doses.

The Ministry of Health will release final figures this afternoon.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said multiple records were broken yesterday, including the biggest-ever one-day vaccine update for Māori, with more than 21,000 doses given - 10,941 first doses and 10,874 second doses.

As well, 4223 Pasifika received their first doses and 8093 their second.

Dr Bloomfield said the 40,000 doses given yesterday have left Tāmaki Makaurau just one percentage point off its 90 percent target for first-dose vaccinations.

Nationally, 65 percent of this country's eligible population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and Dr Bloomfield is encouraging anyone who still needs to get their second jab, to book online.

He also thanked the hundreds of health providers, businesses, workplaces and community organisations who played their part in the day.

Director-general of Health Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: NZ Herald
Director-general of Health Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: NZ Herald
"People have turned out in droves to the 783 vaccination sites around the motu for their vaccinations - from free hangi at Pôtahi Marae in Northland's Te Kao to vaccinations on the TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown."

Mayor pleased with South Auckland support

Auckland's Mayor Phil Goff said he was proud to see so many South Auckland residents roll up their sleeves for the vaccine.

Goff was particularly pleased by the turnout in South Auckland, which has been hard-hit by Covid-19 cases.

He said giving people the opportunity to talk with health providers helped vaccine-hesitant people choose to get vaccinated.

Papakura Marae's chief executive Tony Kake said it was heartening to see queues of people lined up to get the vaccine there yesterday.

He said the event felt like a party at the marae.

Gang members swayed

A public health expert said a vaccination hui led by the Mongrel Mob Kingdom saw some attendees swayed to take the vaccine.

Auckland University associate professor Dr Colin Tukuitonga was one of three guest speakers at yesterday's Huntly event, attended by members and associates of Black Power, Mongrel Mob and Tribal Huk.

He said some were initially hesitant - but ultimately took the vaccine.

Dr Tukuitonga said after a lengthly question and answer a session, he was heartened to see some attendees head to the vaccination tent on-site.

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