Dr Ashley Bloomfield reassured Kiwis there will be enough workers to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to all New Zealanders – with a possibility that the vaccination rate could hit 50,000 jabs a day.
It comes as about 500 MIQ and border workers have received their second Covid-19 vaccine, with 91 per cent of the entire workforce having already had their first dose.
In Parliament’s Health Select Committee this morning, new National MP Simon Watts questioned the Director-General of Health over the number of workers trained to deliver the vaccine.
Watts expressed a lack of confidence in the ability of the workforce to vaccinate the population by Christmas.
"You’ve just articulated a 1000 [person] workforce, that’s 20 vaccinations per day, per [vaccine administrator]," Watts said.
"We’ve got 200 working days between now and Christmas, that’s 20,000 vaccination doses per day, starting today."
Bloomfield agreed with Watts’ numbers, adding he recognised the scale of the vaccine rollout and the workforce needed.
However, Bloomfield emphasised there would be a “scaling up” later in the year when additional vaccines arrive in New Zealand.
He said from July there could be days where there were between 40,000 to 50,000 people receiving vaccinations across the country.
Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre Dr Nikki Turner said there are “thousands lined up” and ready to be trained to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.
Turner said the issue now is sorting out the large-scale rollout effectively, and people are being trained to support the vaccination model.
"Really, what is needed now is to get creative at the district health board level for the models that are going to work as the vaccine comes into the country," Turner said.
National’s Chris Bishop said DHBs getting creative scared him.