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Covid-19 vaccination rates: How DHBs compare

Counties Manukau District Health Board is close to meeting the 90 percent first dose milestone, which would bring the entire Auckland region across the line. (File image) Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone.

The race to get 90 per cent of New Zealand vaccinated against Covid-19 is still on, but people are being reminded it is a marathon and not a sprint.

Only five district health boards have hit the milestone for first jabs: Capital and Coast, Auckland, Waitematā, Canterbury, and, just yesterday, Southern DHB.

But others are tantalisingly close, with just a few thousand jabs to go.

Counties Manukau District Health Board is on the home stretch to meeting the 90 per cent first dose milestone, only 3951 injections away.

It is a target that would bring the entire Auckland region across the line.

Their response is being overseen by the Northern Regional Health Coordination Centre, a collective of Northland district health boards and the three in Auckland.

Clinical director Anthony Jordan says the vaccination effort will not stop at 90 per cent.

"We're going to continue to get people vaccinated, regardless of what the target is," Dr Jordan says.

"Our aspiration is to provide vaccination to protect everyone in the population who needs, and wants, to be vaccinated."

He says they're having to explore why people did not always show up for the second dose or are waiting beyond the recommended window between doses.

"We want people to come back at the earliest possible time to get their second dose.

"So anywhere after that 21 days, three-week mark is an appropriate time to come back and get your dose."

Canterbury crossed the 90 per cent first jab milestone late last week, after more than 3000 people rolled up their sleeves the day Covid-19 cases were reported in Christchurch.

Whānau Ora Community Clinic director George Ngatai says their Christchurch site has seen an increase in people getting tested and vaccinated ever since the recent Covid cases.

"We're saying to people ... come in, get vaccinated, and protect your whakapapa, protect your family, and protect your community."

And those at the back of the pack are still pushing forward.

Tairāwhiti is the least vaccinated DHB, currently sitting at 79 per cent first doses.

But Cara-Lee Pewhairangi-Lawton, from local primary health organisation Ngāti Porou Hauora, is optimistic Tairāwhiti can reach 90 per cent by December.

"Everything is achievable, and I believe in our teams out there that are vaccinating."

But Pewhairangi-Lawton thinks there is a need to "try different approaches" to encourage people.

Taranaki has bounded away from being among the country's worst vaccination rates - now sitting at 84 per cent first doses - after being lambasted by government officials.

Taranaki DHB spokesperson Bevan Clayton-Smith is pleased but says there is still room for improvement and the DHB could not claim all the success.

He says "working in partnership with our providers, going forward, is always the way to go as well".

Clayton-Smith says vaccination is "a team effort, a collaborative effort ... it's an all of Taranaki effort".

The government says a new traffic light system to replace lockdown levels would only begin when all DHBs across New Zealand had 90 percent of their eligible population vaccinated.

-RNZ/Jake McKee.

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