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Super Saturday: BOP has NZ’s worst double-vax rate

The BOPDHB has the lowest rates of second dose vaccinations in New Zealand. File Image/SunLive.

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board is encouraging residents to ensure they get both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine amid a disparity in the first and second dose rates in the region.

The message comes ahead of the Super Saturday mass vaccination event tomorrow, with pop-ups like one at the Merivale Community Centre this weekend hoping to bring the vaccination to at-risk populations.

This week’s update of vaccination rates per DHB across the nation saw the Bay of Plenty drop to the lowest rung of the ladder in regards to second doses of the Pfizer shot.

At 51.6 per cent double vaccinated, the Bay of Plenty slipped below Lakes (51.9 per cent), Taranaki (51.9 per cent) and Northland (52.6 per cent) when the weekly DHB figures were announced at the start of the week.

However, the BOPDHB still has higher first dose rates, at 77.3 per cent, than all of those aforementioned DHB’s as well as Tairawhiti (71.3 per cent), West Coast (73.6 per cent) and Whanganui (74.4 per cent).

Whilst that is encouraging, the BOPDHB’s Covid-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson is encouraging people to ensure they are double vaccinated.

“All doses of the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine are important, and the vaccine rollout is a key focus for the Bay of Plenty DHB,” says Trevor.

“Two doses of the vaccine provide a high degree of protection against infection so it’s important we all get both doses.”

As for the reason between the disparity in national standings regarding first dose and second doses in the Bay of Plenty, Trevor suggests it is unlikely to be due to a regional difference to the national standard regarding advice over the gap between doses.

“The Bay of Plenty DHB adopted the standard six-week gap between doses for all new vaccination bookings in August, in line with the Ministry of Health.

“Prior to this, the standard gap was three weeks between doses.”

The BOPDHB is encouraging events across the region this Saturday to help boost vaccination rates including in high-risk areas.

Merivale in Tauranga is one such location.

A Super Saturday vaccination event at Merivale Community Centre is planned for this Saturday from 11am.

The pop-up clinic is a collaborative work from the community and the DHB. A BBQ and smoothies will be provided on site to encourage people to attend.

Labour List MP Jan Tinetti will be at a pop-up event in Merivale as the BOPDHB aims to improve vaccination rates. Photo. Daniel Hines/SunLive.

Labour List MP Jan Tinetti, the former principal at Merivale School, is backing the Super Saturday vaccination drive and will be present at the Merivale pop-up.

“Our goal is to get the vaccine to people, before Delta reaches them – but it will require a combined effort from all of us to make it happen,” she says.

“New Zealanders have consistently shown over the last year that they’re willing to pitch in as part of our team of five million and confront the Covid-19 challenge head-on.

“We need to continue to channel that energy into our big push to get Kiwis vaccinated.”

Trevor is also backing the incentive, explaining how this is the perfect chance to be fully vaccinated in time for Christmas.

“The Bay of Plenty DHB is focused on giving people who haven’t yet taken up the offer of vaccination a range of opportunities to get their shot,” he says.

“Convenience is key and, to support this, we’ve established many sites around the Bay which take ‘walk-ins’, where people don’t need to book an appointment. Whatever it takes, we’ll be doing our best to create as many vaccination opportunities as possible to ensure everyone in the Bay has the chance to get vaccinated.”

“Summer is just eight weeks away and we all want to enjoy the best of summer in the Bay. If you get your first shot now, you’ll be fully vaccinated in time for Christmas with your whānau.”

This Super Saturday, check www.bopdhb.health.nz/super-saturday to find out what’s happening near you. To find your nearest vaccination clinic, visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-vaccination/bay-of-plenty/.

People can find trusted information about the vaccine at www.covid19.govt.nz/vaccine.

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