15 new community cases in Auckland

There are 15 new community cases of Covid-19 in Auckland, Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has revealed.

The new cases bring the total number in the current Delta outbreak to 1123, he said. Of those, 861 have recovered.

Of today's cases, most are household contacts of previous cases. There are three which are unlinked and under investigation.

Yesterday's unlinked case has now been linked, Dr Bloomfield said.

There are 15 people in hospital, three of these are in ICU.

In the past 24 hours there were 19,194 tests administered.

More than 75% of the eligible population has had at least one vaccination.

Yesterday 49,667 doses of the vaccine were given, 24,339 were first doses and 25,338 were second doses.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that high levels of vaccination would mean level four lockdowns would be a thing of the past. However it all came down to vaccination.

Ardern said with the vast number of New Zealanders vaccinated the way we dealt with future outbreaks would be different.

She described it as a hopeful future with the aim to become "the most vaccinated population in the globe."

"Here is our chance to lead the world again. Get vaccinated. It's the reason we should all feel hopeful."

Ardern said she was aiming for the highest level of vaccination to give the highest level of freedoms. This would provide the best level of protection for our youngest who could not yet be vaccinated.

Ardern said we were continuing to take a stamp it out strategy in the current outbreak. Today gave a glimpse of the future with high vaccination rates.

"We should strive for high vaccine [rates]. That is going to be the golden ticket for New Zealand," she said.

On vaccines for those aged five and over, the decision would be based on expert advice, said Ardern.

"It will always be a health decision, always," she said.

Bloomfield said health officials were looking at the evidence which was "promising". They were also looking at studies over-vaccination in under-fives.

Ardern said 13 babies and 253 children under the age of 12 had been infected by Covid in this current outbreak.

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