‘Every single dose counts’

The Government is staging a mass Covid-19 vaccination event on October 16. Pictured is Bruce McLaren Retirement Village resident Marilyn Johnson receiving a vaccine dose. Times file Wayne Martin

Mayor Phil Goff is hailing a major milestone in New Zealand’s ongoing fight against Covid-19.

Goff says 85 per cent of eligible Aucklanders have now received the first dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine.

However there’s still 15 per cent, or more than 200,000 eligible super-city residents, who need to get vaccinated so they’re protected in time for Christmas, he says.

“It’s great to see so many Aucklanders stepping up to protect their families and their communities from Covid-19 by getting vaccinated.”

Goff says good work is being done by the staff operating vaccination buses which jabbed 480 people at an Auckland school in recent days including a large percentage from the city’s Maori and Pasifika communities.

“Also congratulations to the South Seas Pasifika health provider for vaccinating around 5500 people at the Vodafone Events Centre [in Manukau] over the last week,” Goff says.

“Eighty five per cent of the eligible Auckland population vaccinated is a good number, but we need to get it higher in the fight against Delta.”

Goff says anyone who’s not yet vaccinated needs to get it done “as soon as possible”.

“If you want to be sure of protecting your family, friends and loved ones this Christmas, you need to have your first dose by the end of October.

“If you’ve had your first dose, the Government is now recommending you get your second dose three weeks after your initial vaccination.

“Vaccination will also be required at high-risk events from November, such as festivals and concerts, and is likely to be required by bars, cafes and restaurants.”

Meanwhile, the Government is staging a “National Day of Action” on October 16 to encourage people to get vaccinated against the virus.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says with more half the eligible population now fully vaccinated and more than 80 per cent with at least one dose, everyone has to do their bit to reach the remaining 20 per cent.

“We’ve got a plan and to make it work we’re asking everyone to contribute to a big, nationwide push for vaccination.

“This will culminate in a National Day of Action for vaccination on Saturday October 16.

“On that day, we’ll have vaccine clinics open throughout Aotearoa all day and into the evening.

“A bit like election day, we’ll be asking all our political and civic leaders to contribute to a big collective effort to turn people out.”

Hipkins says there are 350,000 vaccination appointments available online at www.bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz.

“That doesn’t include general practices, where more than 20 per cent of people are getting their vaccines.

“Work is being done with district health boards now to increase capacity even further.”