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National vaccination drive on October 16

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: RNZ.

A large scale Covid-19 vaccination drive is being planned for October 16, and known as 'Super Saturday'.

With more than half the eligible population now fully vaccinated and more than 80 per cent with at least one dose, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins is encouraging everyone to do their bit to reach the remaining 20 per cent.

“We’ve got a plan and to make it work we’re asking everyone to contribute to a big, nationwide push for vaccination. This will culminate in a National Day of Action for vaccination on Saturday, October 16.

“On that day, we will have vaccine clinics open throughout Aotearoa all day and into the evening. A bit like Election Day, we will be asking all our political and civic leaders to contribute to a big collective effort to turn people out.”

As of Thursday, half of the eligible population in New Zealand has been fully vaccinated.

Hipkins says they’ve seen 85 per cent of Aucklanders and more than 80 per cent of New Zealanders have at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“We all have a role to play in getting our vaccination rates up.

“Our message to the 80 per cent of the eligible population who have had their first dose is this: your job is not done. Please get your second dose, and help us reach those who have not yet come forward to be vaccinated.

“We need you to be talking to them about the reasons you’ve been vaccinated, we need you to make sure they are getting reliable, honest information about the vaccine. And we need you to help us to get the unvaccinated vaccinated.

“We are asking our business community, our media, and our community groups to play a role too. Those that want to offer incentives to the unvaccinated to get them in the door are encouraged to do so.

“We want parents and grandparents to encourage young New Zealanders to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated. We also want young people to check in with any older family members who aren’t yet vaccinated, show them where they can find reliable and accurate information online, and help the whole whānau to be protected.

“We must leave no stone unturned. No one should be left behind because they haven’t had the support they need to make an informed choice to be vaccinated.”

There are currently 350,000 appointments available next week on https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/.

That doesn’t include general practice, where more than 20 per cent of people are getting their vaccines. Work is being done with District Health Boards now to increase capacity even further.

“Our response as a collective nation to the challenges posed by Covid-19 has been world-leading. Now we need a world-leading uptake of vaccination.

“The next week and a half is critical. We need to pull out all the stops to increase our vaccination rates. It has never been more urgent.”

For more information about Super Saturday, visit the website here.

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