Taranaki Programme Weekly Update
The discovery of six positive COVID-19 cases in Stratford at the end of last week signalled a very busy weekend for our teams, with our vaccination hubs and pop-up clinics seeing a constant stream of Taranaki people coming in for their vaccination.
This has seen our number rise once more, with 88% of the eligible people in Taranaki now having received at least one dose, and three-quarters now fully vaccinated. This leaves just over 2,000 people to go to reach the 90% milestone – a crucial number as the country looks to move into the new traffic light system.
Our Māori partner-providers and local iwi are also doing fantastic mahi reaching out to whānau, with three-quarters now having received a first dose. We also see a huge increase in the number of Māori now fully vaccinated at 58% - an increase of 11.5% on last weeks' figures - tino pai! We will all continue to work together to address concerns and misinformation, reassure those who may be anxious, and find ways of breaking down those barriers that stop people from accessing their vaccination.
We know that if there is an outbreak in Taranaki, our Māori communities would carry the brunt of the impact, so it is important that anyone who has still not received their first dose does so.
We can all do our bit to help our vaccinators by talking to our friends and family about getting vaccinated and encouraging anyone who may have concerns or worries to talk to the clinical experts, either at our main vaccination centres, at any pop-up clinics, by calling their GP or preferred health provider, or contacting their iwi for support.
Booster shots start Nov 19
Booster shots have now been approved by Medsafe for those aged 18 and over who completed their two-dose primary course at least six months ago.
The boosters will be available from Monday 29 November, with the expectation that around 450,000 eligible people nationwide will receive one before Christmas.
The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No3) 2021 came into effect on Sunday, 7 November.
This amendment outlines how temporary medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination can be given. If you believe you fit the criteria for an exemption, please contact your GP or preferred healthcare provider.
AstraZeneca roll out
While the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to be the primary vaccine used in New Zealand, from 26 November, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be available as an alternative option.
It is intended for people who cannot have the Pfizer vaccine for medical reasons (estimated only to be a few hundred people) and those who need to be immunised against Covid-19 because of the nature of their work (like healthcare workers), but who have other reasons not to have the Pfizer vaccine.
If you wish to receive this vaccine, you need to book via BookMyVaccine.nz, which will give you the option to choose AstraZeneca. The ability to book will be availble soon.