PM rejects NZ ranking last in OECD Covid vaccination rates

The prime minister does not think New Zealand is behind the world in its Covid-19 vaccine rates.

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Jacinda Ardern has pushed back against NZ slumping to 120th in world, saying these types of charts largely measure first doses. Source: Breakfast

Jacinda Ardern said "no, no" when asked on Breakfast about New Zealand being ranked 120th, last in the OECD, as of June 15.

She said such rankings largely measure first doses and the country was employing a "different strategy" in its vaccine rollout.

While other countries were pausing second doses in the face of outbreaks, Ardern said New Zealand is "fully vaccinating as we go". 

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This meant the country was ahead of Japan and Australia in terms of its population, she said.

The vaccine rollout was running until the end of the year due to current supply issues, she said, assuring viewers the Government had secured more than enough to go around.

"It's the largest health exercise we've run."

A panel on Q+A with Jack Tame yesterday agreed the country's vaccine rollout could be better.

Jacinda Ardern being vaccinated. Source: 1 NEWS

Dr Apisalome Talemaitonga, from the Pasifika Medical Association, said he thought it had been "a bit slow", while NZME's head of business, Fran Sullivan, described it as being "a bit hit and miss". 

Economic commentator Bernard Hickey agreed the vaccine rollout is "a bit haphazard". He believed we should have had more in place, ready to go, once the vaccines started arriving in the country.

As of June 15, 567,188 first doses have been administered, with a total of 324,514 second doses done, according to the Ministry of Health.