Monday, June 14, 2021

More NZers ready for vaccine jab

Latest research shows more New Zealanders in major demographic groups will get a COVID-19 vaccine, as the number of doses administered reaches half a million, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“Ministry of Health research from April shows 77% of New Zealanders aged 16 years and over say they are likely to get a vaccine or have already received a vaccine. This compares to 69% in March,” Mr Hipkins said.

“The results show the number of people who say they are unlikely to get vaccinated dropped to 12%, down from 20% in March and 24% in December 2020. Of the 12% unlikely, there remains a smaller group of people who are opposed, at 7.8%.”

Latest acceptance rates:

  • Overall – 77%, up from 69%, or 3,147,200 out of 4,082,500 New Zealanders 16 and over;
  • 7% of these people have had one or two doses;
  • Maori – 71%, up from 64% in March;
  • Pasifika – 79%, up from 59% in March;
  • Over 65s are the most likely to get vaccinated.

“This is really encouraging. Major information campaigns, solid progress in the vaccine rollout and strong role models in each community are making a real difference.”

“Given the rollout has been underway for three months, it is fantastic to already see a steady decline in those who say they won’t get a vaccine, including in those communities considered high-risk.

“We do know it’s important to understand why people might not be ready to commit to getting the vaccine just yet.

“This research indicates that 15% are still unsure whether they have to pay for the vaccine, which is why we keep repeating that it’s free.

“Those who identify as disabled are more likely on average to be unsure whether they’ll get vaccinated and there remains a number of people who want to know more about the safety of the vaccine, so we’ve still got work to do.  

“But it’s pleasing that the number of people with concerns about the vaccine approval process has nearly halved to 36%, down from 60% in December.

“New Zealand’s medicine approval regime for COVID-19 vaccines is one of the most rigorous in the world. This improvement shows that while mis- and dis-information campaigns remain a concern for the Government, people are getting access to good and accurate information.”      

Mr Hipkins said the vaccination programme was further ahead than where it was projected to be.

“As of last night, 505,820 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, three months after the first person was vaccinated. This is a significant milestone,” the Minister said.

“It took 49 days to reach 100,000 doses, two weeks to reach 200,000, 12 days to get to 300,000, eight days to hit 400,000 and another eight days to reach the half million.

“Given the complexity and sheer scale of the task at hand this is a strong confidence booster in the vaccination programme as we prepare for the bulk of the vaccine to arrive in country from July.

“We know our supply of vaccines will be constrained to the end of June, but our planning has always been predicated on larger amounts of vaccine arriving from July, enabling us to finish vaccinating Group 3 and then move into the wider population.

“The vast majority of DHBs have already started vaccinating Group 3 or will do so in the next few weeks, and we remain on track to make the vaccine available to everyone in New Zealand by the end of 2021.”

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