14 Oct 2021

Covid-19 vaccinations: Northland underdogs put in hearty effort and boost numbers

10:00 am on 14 October 2021

Two Northland communities that were at the bottom of the Covid-19 vaccination stats have had a massive surge in just a week.

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Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

This time last week, only 45 percent of people in Otangarei and Waima Forest had had one dose of the vaccine, putting them in the bottom five areas nationally.

But now Otangarei has shot up to 70 percent and Waima Forest is at 66 percent.

It comes after a Covid-19 scare that plunged Northland into level 3 and saw a big increase in vaccination numbers across the region.

Epidemiologist Rod Jackson said it was clear from overseas evidence, that having the virus move closer was a real motivator for people.

"There's nothing like people being genuinely scared for their own health and the health of the parents and their children to get them to go out and do the only sensible thing, which is vaccination," he said.

The news was not so good for Murupara on the East Coast which is still last.

It has moved from 33 percent of people with one vaccination to 36 percent, despite a visit from the prime minister.

And the lowest South Island area, Lake Brunner, is now the second lowest in the country at 49 percent as it barely moves while other areas overtake it.

Lowest first vaccination rates

  • Murupara, Bay of Plenty DHB 35.8
  • Lake Brunner 48.6
  • Waingaro-Waimana, Bay of Plenty 50.1
  • Raetihi, Whanganui 51.7
  • Galatea 52.1

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