2021-10-06 11:00:26 New Zealand Aims to Vaccinate Up to 350,000 People in a Day
New Zealand Aims to Vaccinate Up to 350,000 People in a Day
As it moves closer to reopening its economy, New Zealand hopes to vaccinate up to 350,000 people in a single day next week, the country’s largest Covid inoculation effort to date.
According to Chris Hipkins, the minister in charge of New Zealand’s Covid-19 response, vaccination clinics will be open all day on Saturday, Oct. 16. According to him, the facilities will be able to vaccinate 350,000 people, or about 8.3 percent of the eligible population of people aged 12 and up.
“Like on Election Day,” Mr. Hipkins said, “we’ll be asking all of our civic and political leaders to contribute to our efforts to turn people out.”
New Zealand had one of the most successful pandemic responses, with only 28 deaths from the virus. Despite the fact that the country was late in starting its vaccination campaign, it is now on track to fully vaccinate approximately 90 percent of its eligible population by the end of November.
New Zealand is the most recent country to concentrate its vaccination efforts on a single day. Tunisia vaccinated over 500,000 people in a single day in August, and India announced this month that it had given 25 million shots on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.
As of Wednesday, half of New Zealand’s eligible population had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, the country’s only vaccine, while the other half had received a single dose.
New Zealand is also shortening the time between receiving the first and second doses from six to three weeks — a change that means “more people can be fully vaccinated sooner, increasing our community immunity,” according to a health ministry official.
According to the most recent data, the country is currently administering approximately 17,000 first doses and approximately 46,000 second doses per day. Its rate of first vaccination doses has been declining, having dropped by more than three-fourths from a high of around 67,000 doses per day in August.
New Zealand has not set a vaccine target or a deadline for easing restrictions, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday that the country would implement a national vaccine certificate that would be required for entry into “high-risk settings” such as summer music festivals.