18 Aug 2021

Covid-19: Vaccination programme to continue in alert level 4

4:59 pm on 18 August 2021

The country is in alert level four, but the Covid-19 vaccination programme is continuing, the government has confirmed today.

Free application, at the Vasconcelos Library, of the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, for people from 40 to 49 years who live in the Miguel Hidalgo borough in Mexico City, Mexico, on July 14, 2021.

File photo. Photo: AFP

Vaccinations were paused to ensure public safety during the transition to alert level 4.

But speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said plans are being activated for all DHBs to resume vaccinations under level 4 conditions, and in some cases they will resume this afternoon.

She said people who are booked in for a vaccine for tomorrow forwards should go to receive it even if they have not heard anything.

"Do vaccines make a difference? The answer is yes, an enormous one. To put it bluntly if you've had the vacine you are less likely to catch Covid-19 and much less likely to get sick or die," she said.

Ardern said 55,688 doses were given out yesterday, a new record. This includes 35,499 first doses, and 20,189 second doses.

The total number of doses administered to date is now 2.61 million, 1.65 million of which are first doses and 954,000 are second doses.

Ardern said than 143,000 Mâori have received their first vaccination and, of these, more than 87,000 have also had their second vaccinations.

She said the vaccine programme will look different under level 4 restrictions.

"Vaccination sites will be operating under alert level 4 conditions and that means in some cases, they won't have as many people coming through. That is to enable distancing.

"If you are one of the bookings that we need to move to ensure we have a bit more space, you will receive notification. Otherwise, the message is simple. If you were booked for tomorrow and you haven't heard anything, please go."

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