Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Canterbury third DHB to vaccinate 90% Māori

Canterbury has become the third DHB to fully vaccinate more than 90% of eligible Māori, the Ministry of Health announced today.

More than four million first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered to New Zealand’s 12+ population across Aotearoa – another very significant milestone, it said.

“There were 13,995 paediatric doses administered yesterday, bringing the total to 124,155. This is 26% of the 5 to 11 age group. A further 25,596 are booked in for a first dose,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“The total number of paediatric first doses given to Māori children aged 5-11 (15,639) and Pacific children of the same age (8,381).”

There were also 50,946 boosters administered yesterday, bringing the total to 1,163,046. This is 63% of all those that have become due, the Ministry said.

Meanwhile, public health teams are continuing to manage Omicron cases in the community through rapidly isolating cases and contacts, contact tracing, and testing to slow the spread.

To date, there are 90 community cases of COVID-19 that are either confirmed as Omicron variant or have been linked to previously reported Omicron case, an increase of 34.

There are active cases being treated as Omicron in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Palmerston North, and Nelson Tasman.

“Many of these additional cases have previously been reported as COVID-19 cases and linked retrospectively either through whole genome sequencing or epidemiologically,” the Ministry said.

“Therefore, many are not included in today’s reported new COVID-19 community cases.

“The number of cases and contacts are expected to grow given the highly transmissible nature of Omicron and as we learn more from case interviews.”

Yesterday afternoon five people in Auckland tested positive for COVID-19 after having attended Soundsplash music festival in Hamilton over the weekend.

This morning, a location of interest was published for the event.

Anyone who attended the festival is asked to self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days following exposure at the event, which is until Wednesday, February 2.

“If any cold or flu symptoms develop which could be COVID-19, please get a test and isolate at home until a negative result is returned.”

“So far, 68 people who attended the festival have been identified as close contacts, and this number is expected to increase. Contact tracing staff are contacting these individuals, who are required to follow all public health advice regarding isolation and testing,” the Ministry said.

Whole Genome Sequencing has confirmed that one of the cases who attended the festival has the Omicron variant. Whole genome sequencing is underway for the remaining four cases.

Interviews with the five cases will assist in determining whether they contracted COVID-19 before or while attending the festival, the health ministry said.

Meanwhile, Whole Genome Sequencing for the Wellington case reported yesterday confirmed it as the Delta variant. Investigations are continuing to establish any links to previous cases.

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