Covid-19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Northland likely eight or more weeks from vax target

Northland could still be eight or more weeks away from having 90 per cent of its eligible population Covid vaccine double-jabbed if trends from the past few days continue.

Aucklanders, meanwhile, may be a minimum four weeks away from hitting the 90 per cent double-jabbed mark and breaking out of lockdown.

Northland’s lagging vaccination rate raises questions about whether the nation will hit its 90 per cent double-dosed vaccination target before Christmas.

It also raises questions about whether the Government will leave some regions with poor vaccination rates behind, under the current alert level system for managing Covid, and move others with higher vaccination rates into the new traffic light system.

It comes as health teams gave out 1031 first doses in the Northland District Health Board region in the past two days – an average of 515 shots a day.

A further 18,608 first doses still need to be given out to ensure 90 per cent of eligible Northlanders have at least one Pfizer vaccine dose.

If this was done at a rate of 515 shots a day, it would take 36 days or just over five weeks to give out the remaining first doses.

It would then take a further three weeks or longer to double-jab each of those 90 per cent of residents.

That’s because health officials advise people to wait at least three weeks between their first and second shots to maximise their effect against Covid.

It should be noted that projecting the future is never easy – and doing it from two days of past data is not highly reliable.

However, only two days of past data has been used because that is what became publicly available this week when the Ministry of Health released information about how many vaccines are being given in each DHB region each day.

It came as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last week announced the country will move away from its alert levels and into a new traffic light system to manage Covid once every health board region has 90 per cent of its eligible population double-dose vaccinated.

Herald readers can track the nation’s progress on the new vaccination tracker below.

It allows readers to see how many first and second doses each district health board region still needs to reach the milestone of 90 per cent of eligible residents vaccinated.

And the tracker shows Auckland’s Counties Manukau DHB, could be a minimum four weeks away from being double-jabbed.

Health teams gave out 2320 first doses in the DHB region in the last two days at an average 1160 shots a day.

With a further 8700 first doses still needed, health teams could need just over one week to reach the eligible 90 per cent mark if the last two days’ trends continued.

Then – if all those given a first dose came back for their second dose within three weeks, a situation that seems unlikely – Auckland may enter the new traffic light Covid management system in a minimum four weeks from now.

Currently, Counties Manukau DHB has 88 per cent of eligible residents vaccinated with a first dose and 75 per cent double jabbed.

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The city’s other two DHBs have already hit 90 per cent single-jabbed, with Auckland DHB at 94 per cent and Waitematā DHB at 91 per cent.

When it comes to being double-jabbed, Auckland DHB is at 82 per cent – meaning 32,582 more second doses are still needed – while Waitematā DHB is at 78 per cent, leaving 63,001 second doses to go.

Back in Northland DHB, the region now has 79 per cent of eligible residents with a first dose and 63 per cent double-jabbed.

Health teams will need to give out 43,794 second doses to hit 90 per cent double-jabbed.

Elsewhere in the nation, Wellington’s Capital and Coast DHB is the only other health board to hit the 90 per cent first dose mark.

It is now 78 per cent double jabbed and 33,126 doses away from being 90 per cent double vaccinated, after 2305 second doses were given out yesterday.

Canterbury DHB is another successful region. It is at 89 per cent single jabbed, needing just 3390 doses to hit the 90 per cent mark, after about 1697 first doses were administered yesterday.

However, in a sign of how much work is still to go, the region sits at only 68 per cent double jabbed, after about 5000 second doses were put into arms yesterday.

Given its large population that means it still has to administer 101,354 jabs to get to 90 per cent double vaccinated – that is the largest number of doses still needing to be handed out in any DHB across the country.

The West Coast and Whanganui DHBs, meanwhile, are also facing an uphill battle similar to that in Northland DHB.

West Coast DHB needs to give out 2834 vaccines to reach the 90 per cent first dose mark.

It sounds small but equates to 20 per cent of its eligible residents, or one-in-five, still being unvaccinated.

Added to that, the region only gave out 161 first doses yesterday. Over the past two days it has averaged 185 shots a day.

If it keeps that speed up, it will take 15 days to vaccinate 90 per cent of the eligible population with one dose and a minimum of five weeks to give out the remaining 7198 second doses.

Whanganui DHB, meanwhile, has 80 per cent of eligible residents with a single dose, needing to give out 5927 to hit 90 per cent.

To reach 90 per cent double-jabbed, it has to give out a further 13,628 second doses.

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