Three-quarters of New Zealanders aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as the country aims for 90% vaccination targets to see an end to ‘large-scale general lockdowns’.
In an update this afternoon, the country’s chief health officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield said two milestones were reached yesterday, including that 75% of eligible New Zealanders were fully vaccinated, or 3,159 301 people.
“We expect about 80% to be in this situation next week,” he said. “Auckland has already reached 80% of eligible people fully immunized.”
The first dose rate for people aged 12 and over in New Zealand is 88%.
Today, 162 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported. Of these, 156 are in Auckland, five cases in Waikato and one in Northland. Four other cases have been identified in recent returnees in managed isolation.
Dr Bloomfield said 53 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 and three of those patients are in intensive care or in a high dependency unit.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the goal is to reach 90% of immunization levels for the eligible population before moving to the new COVID-19 protection framework.
“Where everything from gatherings to hospitality comes back to life, and where we remove large-scale general blockages,” she said.
She said that, in the meantime, Dr Bloomfield had recommended restrictions on Waikato to move to the second stage of Alert Level Three from tomorrow, November 2, triggering the reopening of retail businesses and public facilities. such as museums and outdoor gatherings for 25 people, removing a ceiling of two households.
Ms Ardern said Auckland was within 5,000 first doses of “passing” the 90% target and the cabinet had decided “in principle” to move Auckland to the same level of restriction as Waikato next week, on November 9.
“For those who are concerned that we haven’t relaxed immediately, our approach is to make constant, conscious change of our restriction. We only recently sent students back to high school, ”she said.
“For those who are worried about any easing, I would say here that due to the high vaccination rates in Auckland, we can move forward with greater confidence, and we will continue to have very good public health advice. strong and clear on how businesses eligible to reopen do so.
“These decisions are carefully balanced and allow us to release some of the pressure and fatigue that we know to exist in Auckland as we continue to vaccinate and prepare for the new framework where much more certainty will exist for everyone. . “