4 Aug 2021

Covid-19: Wellington health officials say vaccination schedule on track

8:58 am on 4 August 2021

Wellington's district health board says the region will finish Covid-19 vaccinations by the end of the year, and an earlier projection it would take until February 2022 is out of date.

The new Covid 19 vaccination facility in South Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the aim is, nationwide, to have everyone who wants to be vaccinated done by the end of this year.

DHB reports to the Ministry of Health, released on its website, had the Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs reporting they would need two months at the beginning of next year to complete any outstanding vaccinations.

The boards had told officials they would complete 'tier' three and roll out 'tier' four vaccinations between August and December. However phase four from early December through to late February 2022 is designated 'Wash Up'.

But Capital and Coast DHB said today the documents published this week were the boards' assessment from earlier this year.

Since that assessment was made the situation had been updated, a health board spokesperson told RNZ.

"Our plan sees us complete vaccination for the Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley DHB region at the end of November 2021," a DHB spokesperson said in a statement.

"Following that, vaccination will remain available for anyone becoming newly eligible, and those who have changed their minds after deciding not to be vaccinated earlier in the programme."

More than half of DHBs have provided written reports to the Ministry of Health and others have provided data setting out their timetables.

The rollout has already been slow compared to many other countries, including Australia, Bishop said, and the slower it goes, the more that pushes out decisions about allowing Kiwis to come home, and starting to reopen the border.

Next Thursday Ardern will release advice from experts on how to open the border safely and public health measures, and then set out a government plan.

The prime minister told Morning Report she stands by her position that anyone who wants the Covid-19 vaccine will be able to access it before the end of the year.

"That is what we've commited to, we have the supply to ensure that's possible."

The government will work with DHBs to ensure they can deliver the vaccine, she said.

Epidemiologist Sir David Skegg has been leading the advisory group tasked with reporting on vaccination rates and scenarios should the border reopen, interpreting scientific data, public health protections and any risks from anyone still not vaccinated once the border is open.

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