Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says all New Zealand’s district health boards are now operating vaccination programmes, and vaccine numbers are likely to increase further.
He was speaking at today’s Covid-19 vaccine update, alongside Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare.
Bloomfield says 90,286 vaccine doses administered have been administered so far and New Zealand is likely to hit the 100,000 milestone in the next couple of days.
He says 147 adverse reactions to the vaccine have been recorded, and three of those cases are considered serious. All those involved an allergic reaction of some kind and no new safety concerns have been identified in New Zealand.
Henare received his first Pfizer vaccine dose at a clinic in Porirua this morning.
He is one of several politicians with a health-based portfolio who have been invited to get the immunisation early, in an attempt to boost confidence in its safety.
The minister is encouraging Māori to follow his lead and get vaccinated against Covid-19, and has been travelling around the North Island engaging with Māori communities in an effort to inform and combat vaccine hesitancy.
He said he was feeling well after the vaccination and looked forward to continuing to advocate for the vaccine.
“I look forward to spreading the message around the vaccine and its efficacy and supporting it amongst our communities.”
Henare says the Ministry of Health has been in talks with 62 Māori health providers about the $11 million in funding the government has allocated for equitable rollout of the vaccine for Māori.
He says iwi leaders and comms have been used to reach “as many of our people as possible”.
Henare says his thoughts are with Minister Kiri Allan and her whānau. Allan publicly revealed yesterday she had been diagnosed with stage-three cervical cancer.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says New Zealand has four advance-purchase arrangements with four different manufacturers and they are all still in place.
He says the next vaccine to be considered by health authorities in New Zealand is the Jansen vaccine. Officials will meet next week.
Health Minister Andrew Little, who also received his first Pfizer jab this morning, said this morning about 6000 people a day were being immunised and that figure would have to rise.
He is hoping vaccination numbers will increase to about 10,000 a day by the end of this month.