Thursday, July 18, 2024

The Big Boost not over yet

New Zealanders have rolled up their sleeves in droves as part of The Big Boost nationwide call to action – but we’re not done yet, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“As predicted, Omicron cases are increasing across New Zealand and it’s critical we get as many people as possible boosted in February to slow the spread of the virus and protect our communities,” Mr Hipkins said.

“In response to the outbreak, we have accelerated the booster programme and asked New Zealanders to get their boosters as soon as they are due.

“I thank the hundreds of thousands of people who have got theirs so far and all those who have already booked in for their booster too.”

The Big Boost Week ended on Wednesday and saw 369,990 people making the most of extended vaccination centres opening hours, pop-up clinics and events around the country – meaning that more than two million New Zealanders in total have now been boosted.

“That’s a significant contribution to the 748,351 people given boosters in the first 17 days of February, and means we are on track to administer over 1.25 million boosters for the month,” Mr Hipkins said.

“If we keep this up, by the end of February we will have boosted around 77% of eligible New Zealanders.

“That’s a good result, but we can do more – I urge everyone to get their booster as soon as they are due. It is the best thing we can do to combat Omicron and protect ourselves, our whānau, and our communities.

“The evidence is clear that a booster dose provides a very high level of protection against severe disease or hospitalisation from the Omicron variant. The evidence also suggests the booster dose offers some protection against getting Omicron or transmitting it to others.

“Two doses was effective against Delta but you need the booster for Omicron.

“I want to thank vaccination teams across the country who are pulling out all the stops to make it as easy as possible for people to get boosted. 

“It’s great to see vaccination centres providing whānau with the opportunity to get their vaccinations together; with mum and dad getting a booster while their 5 to 11-year-old children get their first dose,” Minister Hipkins said.

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