The number of Covid-19 vaccination doses in New Zealand should hit the half million mark in the next two weeks, Minister for the Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins has revealed
Hipkins is giving an update on the vaccine at the Beehive Theatrette in Wellington.
Hipkins says that as of midnight, 388,877 doses of the vaccine have been administered, an increase of 83,000 on the same time last
He says that 120,000 of those people have received their second dose.
"Overall, we're tracking ahead of plan. Based on these statistics we're expecting to hit the half million mark within the next fornight."
He acknowledges healthcare workers, vaccinators and District Health Boards for their efforts in the immunisation programme.
The national online booking system is heading through the trial well, Hipkins said, adding it will support and in some cases replace local existing booking systems as the programme scales up.
"We're also making good progress in vaccinating staff and residents at aged residential care facilities around the country.
"I know in these early stages there will be some teething troubles, there will be people who arrived to be vaccinated who might experience difficulties, particularly at some of those bigger centres where they are delivering vaccinations to thousands of people a day."
He emphasises that the priority is for eligible people who had already booked in an appointment to get the jab.
"Where people are walking in to get a vaccination, we still do expect that will be done broadly in line with the sequencing framework.
"So my message to people who are in group 4 - which will be the last group to get underway - please refrain from walking up to a vaccination clinic at this point."
Yesterday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told Nine to Noon older people and those with pre-existing conditions were becoming the focus of the vaccination campaign.
Bloomfield says DHBs have been told which underlying health conditions will mean people should get an earlier vaccination.
An initial list was based on the conditions used to be eligible for the free annual flu vaccination, he said.
The list was then updated and extended weeks ago with overseas evidence about underlying conditions.
It would be further updated this week, and was available on the ministry's website, he says.