3 Nov 2021

Covid-19 vaccination rates: How district health boards across Aotearoa compare

10:47 am on 3 November 2021

The race to get 90 percent of Aotearoa vaccinated against Covid-19 is still on, but people are being reminded it is a marathon and not a sprint.

Covid-19 vaccination generic.

Counties Manukau District Health Board is close to meeting the 90 percent first dose milestone, which would bring the entire Auckland region across the line. (File image) Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Only five district health boards have hit the milestone for first jabs: Capital and Coast, Auckland, Waitematā, Canterbury, and, just yesterday, Southern DHB.

But others are tantalisingly close with just a few thousand jabs to go.

Counties Manukau District Health Board is on the home stretch to meeting the 90 percent first dose milestone, only 3951 injections away.

It is a target that would bring the entire Auckland region across the line.

Their response is being overseen by the Northern Regional Health Coordination Centre, a collective of Northland district health boards and the three in Auckland.

Clinical director Anthony Jordan said the vaccination effort would not stop at 90 percent.

"We're going to continue to get people vaccinated, regardless of what the target is," Dr Jordan said.

"Our aspiration is to provide vaccination to protect everyone in the population who needs, and wants, to be vaccinated."

He said they were having to explore why people did not always show up for the second dose or were waiting beyond the recommended window between doses.

"We want people to come back at the earliest possible time to get their second dose.

"So anywhere after that 21 days, three-week mark is an appropriate time to come back and get your dose."

Canterbury crossed the 90 percent first jab milestone late last week, after more than 3000 people rolled up their sleeves the day Covid-19 cases were reported in Christchurch.

Whānau Ora Community Clinic director George Ngatai said their Christchurch site had seen an increase in people getting tested and vaccinated ever since - a sign Covid-19 could quickly appear on your doorstep.

"We're saying to people ... come in, get vaccinated, and protect your whakapapa, protect your family, and protect your community."

And those at the back of the pack were still pushing forward.

Tairāwhiti was the least vaccinated DHB, currently sitting at 79 percent first doses.

But Cara-Lee Pewhairangi-Lawton, from local primary health organisation Ngāti Porou Hauora, was optimistic Tairāwhiti could reach 90 percent by December.

"Everything is achievable, and I believe in our teams out there that are vaccinating."

But Pewhairangi-Lawton thought there was a need to "try different approaches" to encourage people.

Taranaki had bounded away from being among the country's worst vaccination rates - now sitting at 84 percent first doses - after being lambasted by government officials.

Taranaki DHB spokesperson Bevan Clayton-Smith was pleased but said there was still room for improvement and the DHB could not claim all the success.

He said "working in partnership with our providers, going forward, is always the way to go as well".

Clayton-Smith said vaccination was "a team effort, a collaborative effort ... it's an all of Taranaki effort".

The government said a new traffic light system to replace lockdown levels would only begin when all DHBs across New Zealand had 90 percent of their eligible population vaccinated.

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