Covid 19 coronavirus: PM Jacinda Ardern delivers latest on vaccines rollout and gets second jab

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will get her second vaccination today and mark the start of the rollout to those in Group 4 by delivering an update on the progress of the rollout herself.

Ardern will deliver the progress report on the vaccines rollout with director general of health Ashley Bloomfield in Hamilton at 12.30pm ahead of her second vaccine.

Her first vaccination was on June 18.

It coincides with the start of the first tranche of those in Group 4 being able to book vaccinations: those aged 60 years and older.

In today’s vaccine rollout update the Ministry of Health said that as of midnight last night, 1,759,154 doses of the Pfizer vaccination have been administered – more than 206,100 doses up on this time last week.

Nearly 700,000 people have now received their second dose, which means they’re fully vaccinated.

The Ministry of Health said it was about three per cent ahead of target.

In case numbers, there were no cases of Covid-19 in the community and one positive case in a recent returnee in a managed isolation facility.

Ten previously reported cases have now recovered. The number of active cases in New Zealand is 43.

There had been no subsequent detections of Covid-19 in wastewater at the New Plymouth wastewater treatment plant so far, but daily sampling would continue for the next week along with further samples from sites around the Taranaki region.

Health officials were still encouraging people in Taranaki with symptoms to get tested, as well as those who had returned from Australia. Over the last six days, 1082 swabs had been taken, all returning negative results.

The positive case in managed isolation was a person who arrived from the United States, and was picked up in the day one test.

The Ministry of Health reported it had delivered 115,454 Group 3 vaccinations in the last week – 79 percent more than for the same period a month ago.

In group three, 382,382 people have had at least one shot and 217,241 were now fully vaccinated. That means almost 13 per cent of the estimated 1.7 million people in group three are now fully vaccinated on the day the Group 4 rollout begins for those aged over 60.

As of last week, about 13 per cent of the population was fully vaccinated and about 19 per cent had been given one vaccination.

Overall,1,553,035 vaccinations had been given and 628,259 people were fully vaccinated

However, only about 10 per cent of people in Group 3 were fully vaccinated, leading some to call for the start of Group 4 to be delayed.

Just under 180,000 of the 1.7 million people estimated to be in group 3 were fully vaccinated. 17 per cent had been given their first shot.

The Government has resisted delaying, saying efforts would continue to get Group 3 people (those aged more than 65 or with underlying health conditions) vaccinated. However, there was no reason not to start on Group 4 as vaccine supply increased and the workforce of vaccinators increased.

About 1.5m doses of Pfizer vaccines were expected to land in August.

It is also ahead of the first planned mass vaccination event in Manukau from Friday to Sunday, which was intended to vaccinate 15,000 people.

However, organisers have admitted they had struggled to get people to sign up for it. It was intended for staff and students at the Manukau Institute of Technology and their families, but the DHB cast the net wider after only about 2000 people made bookings. About 140,000 have now been invited in a bid to fill the slots.

Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins had said it was an attempt to boost the vaccination rates in South Auckland, which is one of the priority areas because of the proximity of the airport and quarantine facilities. It was also an attempt to increase vaccination rates for Maori and Pacific Islanders, which were lagging behind the national rates.

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