Covid-19 coronavirus: Ministry of Health to update numbers

The Ministry of Health will this afternoon provide an update on Covid-19 cases in New Zealand.

Today marks 19 days since the last case of community transmission was reported on February 28 as part of the Valentine’s Day cluster in Papatoetoe.

There were three new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation on Wednesday and more than 6000 tests were processed,

This week, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the first New Zealanders were fully vaccinated after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

He also said the number of people refusing the vaccine was low – around 10 or 20 people.

More than 27,000 people have received the vaccine so far.

New Zealand is now three and a half weeks into the programme and so far 90 per cent of frontline workers have got the vaccine.

He said 9600 New Zealand Defence Force workers will get the vaccine – 1600 have got it so far.

It will take six weeks to complete the vaccine rollout to the NZDF, he said.

Hipkins said the Government’s target is getting “as many people vaccinated as possible” and ensuring people were coming forward to receive the jab.

“There will be a lot of demand at the end of the year,” he said.

He said the Government will be administering “more than” 20,000 vaccines a day when the general rollout comes.

Hipkins said there will be “unders and overs” when it comes to the daily numbers for vaccines administered.

He said the Government has a good allocation until June, and from July the Government is expecting a lot more vaccines.

The Government will be doing “week by week” monitoring of how many people it has vaccinated.

He said the number of people saying no to a vaccine so far was “very small” and while he could not say exactly how many it was in the “early double digits”.

Hipkins said again that vaccination was not a requirement for all New Zealand, but said it was mandatory if someone wanted to work on the front lines.

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield told MPs at the health select committee yesterday that the Government’s vaccine safety campaign would be ramped up soon.

He added that the Ministry of Health would “absolutely” approach the likes of All Blacks and other sports stars to help with the campaign.

The campaign would be focused on using “trusted” members of the public who can talk up the science and safety of the vaccines, he said.

Hipkins confirmed they were looking at “role models” to take the vaccine and talk about the benefits publicly but said those people would not be paid to do so.

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