Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Christchurch rushes to vaccinate

Christchurch residents have flocked to vaccination centres after yesterday’s Covid scare, meaning the city is now just 27 shots away from having 90 per cent of eligible residents with at least one Pfizer dose.

More than 3300 Christchurch residents – or almost twice the 1700 residents the day before – got their first dose yesterday after two new Covid community cases were found in the city.

Wellingtonians, meanwhile, may be just two weeks away from hitting the 90 per cent double-jabbed mark, while Aucklanders are likely a minimum four weeks from breaking out of lockdown.

Northland continues to lag the nation and could be a minimum nine weeks off being fully-jabbed, while another four regions across the country could be as many as seven weeks away from the double-jab milestone.

It comes as New Zealand is in a “sprint” to get vaccinated against Covid, according to the Government.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last week that once every district health board region has 90 per cent of its eligible residents double-jabbed against Covid, the nation will move to a new traffic light system for managing the virus.

The new strategy aims to avoid using nationwide lockdowns as a means to control Covid.

However, before New Zealand can begin the traffic light system, a further 117,343 first dose Pfizer shots still need to be given out across the nation’s 20 DHB regions.

In the past two days, an average 12,117 first doses have been given out nationally each day.

If that trend continues, it would take a further 10 days for New Zealand to hit the 90 per cent single-jabbed mark.

If three weeks is added onto the 10 days – given health officials advise people to wait at least three weeks between their first and second shots – then it would be a minimum four weeks before 90 per cent of eligible Kiwis are double-jabbed.

However, it is almost certainly going to take longer than that.

That’s because some regions are vaccinating much more slowly than others.

Northland DHB is moving slowest, with first dose numbers falling in each of the past three days.

An average 439 first doses was given out over each of the past two days.

Currently, 18,197 first doses still need to be put into arms in the region to ensure 90 per cent of eligible Northlanders have at least one Pfizer vaccine dose.

If 439 shots are given out every day from now on, it would take 41 days or almost six weeks to complete the remaining first doses.

It would then take a further three weeks or longer to double-jab each of those 90 per cent of residents.

That means Northland is looking likely to be nine weeks or longer away from being fully jabbed.

It should be noted that projecting the future is never easy – and doing it from two days of past data is not highly reliable.

However, only two days of past data has been used because that is what became publicly available this week when the Ministry of Health released information about how many vaccines are being given in each DHB region each day.

Elsewhere, the Lakes, Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti and Whanganui DHBs are all seemingly seven weeks away from having 90 per cent of their eligible populations double jabbed, based on trends from the past two days.

Following them, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and West Coast DHBs appear to be up to six weeks away from the 90 per cent double-jabbed milestone.

Auckland is still looking at a minimum four weeks from breaking out of lockdown.

The city contains three DHB regions, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said residents won’t be leaving level 3 lockdown until each of the three DHBs have 90 per cent of eligible populations vaccinated.

Counties Manukau is the DHB lagging, but it is making progress.

There are now just 7707 first doses needing to be given out to have 90 per cent of the eligible DHB residents with at least one Pfizer dose.

Over the past three days there has been 1116, 1204 and 993 first dose shots given out in the Counties Manukau DHB area.

At an average 1104 shots per day, it would take seven days to give out the remaining shots.

The Auckland and Waitematā DHBs have already reached the 90 per cent first dose mark, with Auckland DHB on 94 per cent and Waitematā DHB on 91 per cent.

With Counties Manukau DHB now on the verge of hitting 90 per cent of its population with at least one dose, Auckland is in a race with Wellington’s Capital and Coast DHB and Christchurch’s Canterbury DHB to be the first region to be fully vaccinated.

Capital and Coast DHB is the front runner.

It now has 92 per cent of eligible residents with at least one Pfizer dose and has hit the final straight towards being fully jabbed, with 79 per cent of eligible residents currently having had two doses.

That means the region needs to give out 30,909 second doses to hit the 90 per cent double jabbed mark.

And with an average 2261 daily second doses given in the are over the past days, it could take just 14 days or two weeks before it becomes the first DHB region to hit the Government’s milestone.

Now Canterbury DHB is virtually at 90 per cent single-jabbed, it is following close behind and is a minimum three weeks – although this is unlikely – away from also hitting the double-jabbed milestone.

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