NZ plans national covid ‘action day’ push to boost vaccinated numbers

Minister Chris Hipkins and Dr Caroline McElnay
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Dr Caroline McElnay today ... "This will be helping local iwi, who have been pushing for this." Image: RNZ

RNZ News

New Zealanders need to pitch in for a final push to get as many people vaccinated as possible, says the Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, who has announced a new “national day of action” for vaccinations.

Hipkins and Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay gave today’s update on the fight against covid-19.

There were 39 new community cases in New Zealand today — including nine in Waikato — although just one is not yet linked to earlier cases.

There were 24 community cases yesterday.

Half of eligible Kiwis have been vaccinated and at least 85 percent of Aucklanders have received at least one dose.

But Hipkins said everyone had a role to to play in getting vaccination rates up, and he wanted those already vaccinated to help those who had not been to get a dose.

“This will culminate in a national day for vaccination on Saturday 16 October — Super Saturday.

“On that day, we will have vaccine clinics open all through Aotearoa all day and into the evening and a bit like election day, we will be asking all our civic and political leaders to contribute to a big effort to turn people out.”

Tomorrow, maps showing suburbs with lowest vaccination rates will be published.

Watch the briefing

Video: RNZ News

“This will be helping local iwi, who have been pushing for this, our local communities, and our local MPs to work together to mobilise their communities.”

A website will be going live later today with information about the Saturday event.

“My request to everybody is this: Pitch in and get this done.”

Hipkins said the new cases outside the Auckland border were “stark reminder of how tricky the virus can be”.

“Our strategy to date of keeping covid-19 out has served us well, but we can’t keep doing that forever,” he said.

“As the prime minister said on Monday, getting back to zero cases of covid-19 in the community is unlikely. We need to prepare for a gradual transition to the next phase of our covid-19 response.”

At yesterday’s 1pm briefing, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Cabinet had agreed to the use of vaccine certificates in New Zealand.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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