Auckland’s final DHB, Counties Manukau, has reached the crucial 90 per cent threshold for first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins confirmed the milestone on Sunday night and praised the South Auckland community for its efforts.
“Today we are an important step closer to Auckland transitioning to the new traffic light system which means restrictions will ease once each DHB is 90 per cent second dose,” Hipkins said.
He said the work of Māori and Pacific providers in Counties Manukau had a huge part to play in reaching this milestone.
“Getting to 90 per cent first doses required pulling out all the stops in Auckland. This has included literally going door to door to ensure people are vaccinated.”
Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillor Daniel Newman said he knew the target would be a huge challenge but gives credit to his community.
“This is an extraordinary achievement and it comes as Counties Manukau battles Covid-19 seeding in homes and neighbourhoods across South Auckland. But every vaccination means we are stronger in the face of this growing threat.”
Newman said when Delta arrived in New Zealand in August only 20 per cent were vaccinated but now the region has reached 90 per cent first dose coverage.
On Sunday there were 113 new cases of Covid-19 in the community and a record 74 patients in hospital with the virus.
Of today’s cases, 109 are in Auckland, three in Waikato and one in Northland.
The Ministry encouraged anyone in Auckland to get tested if they had even the mildest symptoms, were fully vaccinated, and had been isolating at home.
Auckland DHB is leading the way at 95 per cent first doses and 87 per cent second doses. While Waitemata DHB is at 92 first doses and 83 per cent second doses.
Counties Manukau is now at 90 first doses and 80 per cent second doses.
With current daily rates, Hipkins said Auckland could reach 90 per cent fully vaccinated within the next three weeks as people return for their second dose.
“Everyone wants restrictions eased as soon as possible. We need to keep going and get those final second doses so we can ease restrictions with high rates of vaccination and high levels of confidence,” Hipkins said.
Over the past week, on average Auckland residents were administered 1,743 first doses, and 6,175 second doses.
Yesterday 10,996 vaccines were administered in Auckland including 2,238 first doses during the “Got ya Dot” campaign designed by rangatahi Māori to appeal to the 12-34 age bracket with youth-tailored vaccination centres in operation across Auckland.
Newman as a number of vaccination centres will be set up in Manurewa, Wiri, and on the street corners of Papakura over the next week.
“We all need to support vaccination efforts, whether it be through rolling up our sleeves or by supporting community events where vaccination efforts are taking place.
“Let’s overcome Covid-19 and reunite for Christmas,” he said.
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