Focus turns to 22% of Kiwis not vaccinated against Covid

The Covid-19 vaccine rollout is ramping up with attention turning to getting the unvaccinated on board.

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For weeks now, residents in the region have been encouraged to just show up and bring whoever you like. Source: 1 NEWS

The latest figures show 70 per cent of eligible Kiwis now have at least one vaccine, and 36 per cent are fully vaccinated.

But there is still 22 per cent of people who haven’t been vaccinated or booked in for a vaccine. Vaccine rates across the country differ but the Nelson Marlborough DHB has consistently performed ahead of the rest.

Nelson Bays Primary Health’s Charlotte Etheridge says “it’s actually about making it easy for people and not over complicating it”.

Seventy-six per cent of people in the Nelson Marlborough region have had their first vaccine, and 45 per cent are fully vaccinated.

For weeks now residents have been encouraged to turn up to vaccination centres in Nelson, Richmond and Blenheim without bookings. They’ve also been encouraged to brings and family.

“As easy as it is with Book My Vaccine [website], actually having the ability for someone to walk in with their whānau is really important,” Etheridge said.

From next week, Nelson Marlborough DHB will open up before work vaccinations from 7am and late night options too. It’s also planning on going into high schools to set up vaccination clinics.

Nelson Marlborough DHB’s Dr Nick Baker says teenagers are behind the rest of the population, mainly because they’ve had less time to be vaccinated.

"I don't think we can just expect teenagers to do the same things as everyone else. We have to provide services tailored to their needs which is often convenient, easy, without too much hassle,” he said.

Southern DHB has had a high vaccination rate too with 76 per cent of people already getting a first jab and 40 per cent having had their second.

The ramped up vaccination roll out in Auckland is working, with 73 per cent of people already getting their first vaccine and 38 per cent fully vaccinated.

Dr Nikki Turner of the Immunisation Advisory Centre says every region is different and faces different challenges. She says some DHBs face staffing issues while others already had good systems in place.

“What we've noticed with the first round of vaccinations is you get a lot of people really keen to have their vaccines and then it gets a bit harder and harder,” Dr Turner said.

At the Auckland Airport vaccination centre, the incentives have begun with the vaccinated entering a daily prize draw, particularly targeted towards young people.

Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood says “we've got $70,000’ worth of vouchers for places like Torpedo 7, Noel Leeming and the warehouse.. we've got hundreds of mobile phones”.

Those getting vaccinated can also vote to support their local school. Three donations of $10,000 cash and $10,000 in Warehouse Stationery goods will be made to South Auckland schools.