90% fully vaccinated milestone ‘best start to the year’ for Taranaki people

6 January 2022

2022 has got off on the right foot as Taranaki reached the technical 90% fully vaccinated milestone today.

Bevan Clayton-Smith, Taranaki COVID-19 Vaccination programme senior responsible officer, said: “With the arrival of COVID-19 in the region on a scale we haven’t seen before just before Christmas, and the very real threat of Omicron, reaching this level of protection in the community really is the best start for the year we could have hoped for.

“Last year was a very busy one for everyone involved in the roll-out of the programme but being able to deliver this result as summer really gets going is just reward.”

Vaccination rates for Māori are also cause for celebration, with first doses now at 87% and second doses at 79%, putting Taranaki at 8th equal out if 18 DHB’s nationally

“Reaching this milestone within our Māori community is testament to the dedication and efforts of our Māori health partner-providers Tui Ora, Ngātu Ruanui and Ngāruahine, Te Aranga, local GP clinics and pharmacies as well as Taranaki DHB vaccination teams,” says Bevan.

The programme has seen a very busy start to 2022, with 1,516 vaccinations administered across the rohe on the first day clinics were open in the new year. The demand was driven by those wishing to get their booster shots, with around 15,000 Taranaki people eligible in January after the change from six months down to four months between doses, announced by the Government late last year.

Taranaki has now administered booster shots to 90% of those eligible for it, ahead of the national average of 74%. This figure leads the country, with the next DHBs next in line on 82%.

“Booster shots are essential in keeping the rate of transmission and infection down, and together with the roll-out of vaccinations for our tamariki, this will be the main focus of activity for the next few weeks, “adds Bevan.

“Taking the lead in the booster roll-out bodes well for the resilience of the community when the Omicron variant inevitably reaches us.

“The mahi will continue, as we all work to help keep Taranaki people, its businesses and economy, and our health service, protected.”

NB: The technical 90% milestone announced by the MoH is due to a rounding up of numbers. The actual percentage for Taranaki is 89.7%, with just 337 first doses to go.

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