NZ Vaccination Rollout Plan Announced With Vaccination Clinic up and Running

The New Zealand Government has announced its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan and a schedule to provide free vaccines to everyone in New Zealand. The announcement comes a day after the first large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinic opened in East Tamaki in Auckland and confirms everyone in New Zealand who wants the vaccine will receive both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today that the Government is targeting those most at risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 and those most at risk of getting seriously sick from it in the next phase of the vaccine roll-out.

  • Targeted roll-out over next 3-4 months will start to reach 2 million Kiwis in most at risk groups
  • Plan prioritises people most at risk of harm if they get the virus and those who live and work in places where they are most likely to pick up COVID-19
  • Those in South Auckland who’re over 65 or who have underlying health issues to start being vaccinated from the end of March
  • Minimising risk of future outbreaks central to Government plan and prioritisation

The plan will be rolled out in stages as vaccine shipments arrive.

To support a smooth rollout of the vaccine, the population has been segmented into the following four main groups (timings may overlap and may shift slightly).

Group 1 (February – March 2021)

  • 50,000 border and MIQ workers, and the people they live with.

Group 2 (February – May 2021)

  • Approximately 480,000 frontline workers and people living in high-risk settings.
  • Anyone living in the Counties-Manukau DHB area who is 65 years and older or who has an underlying health condition. This recognises the risk posed by the many border operations and MIQ facilities in this region.

Group 3 (May 2021 onwards)

  • Priority populations: people over 65 years or people with underlying health conditions or disabilities who are at higher risk of severe outcomes if they catch COVID-19 (approximately 1.7 million people).

Group 4 (second half of 2021)

  • The remainder of the population – everyone over 16-years-old (approximately 2 million people).

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Image: Aaron Te Moananui receives his COVID-19 vaccination, Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora