Vaccination efforts to ramp up as Group 4 eligibility nears

There are no new cases in the community or in MIQ today.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the existing travel pauses with NSW, South Australia and Victoria would continue into next week.

The quarantine-free travel pause would be reviewed again on July 27.

Of the 38 Kiwis who were in locations of interest in Australian states Victoria and Queensland, 36 have tested negative and the remaining two are waiting on test results.

As of midnight more than 1,500,053 vaccine doses had been administered. Nearly 630,000 people had received their second dose and were fully vaccinated.

A daily high of more than 33,000 doses had been reached.

Overall the country was tracking 5 per cent ahead of plan, on track to pass 2 million doses in early August.

People in group 4 will receive notification from July 28 about being able to make a vaccine booking. From the end of July the vaccination programme would really start ramping up, Hipkins said.

People in group four aged between 60 and 65 will start getting invitations to book through the government's booking system from 28 July, when the official 0800 number will also open.

The Book My Vaccine system will be up and running, there will be an 0800 booking number too, Hipkins said.

Covid-19 Recovery Minister Chris Hipkins (left) and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley...
Covid-19 Recovery Minister Chris Hipkins (left) and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: Getty Images

This week's goal was to reach 200,000 doses, ramping up to 250,000 to 300,000 in the following weeks.

This would be building up to the goal of 50,000 daily doses, some days reaching 70,000, at the peak.

A daily snapshot of vaccination statistics would be released through August, and a weekly deep dive.

Hipkins said he believed the vaccine rollout would push past the 60 per cent plateau seen overseas. This was due to the targeted vaccination rollout.

On developing a roadmap out of Covid-19, Hipkins said more could be expected on that in the next few weeks.

"Covid-19 is accelerating around the world, the pandemic continues to grow, in New Zealand for the most part majority of the population has not felt like they are in the midst of a global pandemic.

"But the pandemic is still raging, it is not over yet."

Some other countries were being "bolder" in their approaches, and New Zealanders could see the "consequences" of such approaches, Hipkins said.

It comes after the largest shipment of Pfizer vaccines to date arrived on Sunday - more than 370,000 doses, two days ahead of schedule.

The last shipment of 150,000 doses arrived two weeks ago, also two days earlier than planned and as the country's supplies drew close to zero.

The rollout has been averaging between 100,000 to 120,000 doses a week since the end of May, restricted by the amount of doses arriving into the country.

The size of the latest shipment meant the weekly rate should start to increase - in line with the Government's plans to "ramp up" the rollout over July and August when the biggest shipments were due from Pfizer.

Based on last week's update DHBs were tracking about 6 per cent ahead of schedule on vaccinations.

There had been 1,404,343 vaccination doses delivered, including 564,789 who had received their second dose and were thus fully vaccinated.

However the rollout was proving increasingly inequitable, with Māori trailing Pākehā by about 40 per cent.

In part to address this, the Government last week announced the country's first mass vaccination event, delivering 15,000 doses over three days, would be held in Manukau, South Auckland over the weekend of Friday, July 30, to Sunday, August 1.

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