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Southern achieves 90% double vaccinated milestone

Issue date:

The Southern district achieved the 90% double vaccinated milestone today, well ahead of the proposed Christmas timeframe.

Queenstown Lakes, Dunedin and Central Otago have also reached the 90% fully vaccinated milestone. Significantly, all of Southern’s local authorities have now reached 90% first doses. This includes Clutha, Southland, Invercargill, Waitaki and Gore, and has been the result of very hard work by the community and local health providers over the last few weeks. These five areas are well on track to meet the 90% target.

“This is a major achievement for the programme, providers, communities and the whole district,” Southern DHB COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Programme Lead Karl Metzler says. “Thank you to the people of the district for doing your bit to keep yourselves and your community safe. We also give a huge thanks to our partners, vaccinators and administrators across the southern health system who are crucial in delivering vaccinations to our communities.”

This includes WellSouth, general practices, community pharmacies, Māori health providers, and public health nursing. The district has around 110 clinics offering the vaccine and regular pop-up clinics have been held over the last couple of months to ensure we are reaching as many people as possible in our widespread district.

Southern’s overall vaccination rate is very encouraging, but we must remember that while the district may be at 90%, there are still pockets with low levels of vaccinations, and it is these communities that are particularly at risk in a local outbreak. These include some of our more rural areas and Māori populations, says Mr Metzler.

Southern’s Māori population is currently sitting ahead of national Māori vaccination rates, with 87% with a first dose, and 76% double vaccinated.

We are still seeing strong demand for first and second doses across the region, and we will continue working hard to reach unvaccinated people to give them the best chance to protect themselves and their loved ones from Covid.

Mr Metzler says he understands that many of the people who have not yet received their vaccinations may be feeling anxious or have questions. He says there are safe spaces at vaccination clinics to talk with a trained clinician. You can also talk to staff at your local vaccinating pharmacy, call 0800 28 29 26 or speak to a trusted health professional such as your GP.

Remember that if it has been six months since your second dose, you are eligible for a booster shot so you stay protected. To avoid queues, people are encouraged to book online at bookmyvaccine or by calling 0800 28 29 26.

Mr Metzler reminds people that while a 90% vaccination rate is a huge achievement and represents our best defence, it is just one way we can protect ourselves and the people we love. Covid will eventually reach our district and people need to be prepared. Go to https://www.southernhealth.nz/COVID19 to learn more about how to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Current vaccination rates across the district are as follows:

Vaccination rates across Southern district

Media enquiries and interview requests: SDHB Communications, communications@southerndhb.govt.nz.