Super Saturday was a national day of action for vaccination against COVID-19 that took place on Saturday 16 October 2021. Everyone in Aotearoa was asked to: either get vaccinated or support someone to get vaccinated. New Zealand’s first-ever ‘Vaxathon’ was the main event on Super Saturday, calling on every remaining eligible New Zealander to get their shot. Simulcast on Māori Television, TV2 (TVNZ) and TV3 (Discovery) it was an eight-hour telethon-like live broadcast.
Super Saturday and the Vaxathon were the culmination of a 10-day campaign launched by Minister Hipkins at the 1pm stand-up on Wednesday 6 October. The campaign aimed to increase uptake across this time period by encouraging New Zealanders to get vaccinated ‘today, this week, or on Super Saturday.’
A particular focus of the Vaxathon campaign was equity and driving uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine for Māori, in light of the lower uptake figures for Māori seen at that time. On Super Saturday, more than 120 extra vaccination sites opened, and more than 130,000 people were vaccinated. Of the 130,002 doses administered on Super Saturday, there were 39,025 first doses and 90,977 second doses. 10,825 Māori received their first dose on the day, and a further 10,877 Māori received a second dose. Super Saturday alone saw the proportion of New Zealand’s population to have received one dose increase by 2 percent (to 85 percent), with the proportion fully vaccinated increasing by 3 percent (to 65 percent).
Multiple requests for information relating to the Vaxathon and Super Saturday events have been received by the Ministry of Health. Given the level of public interest in this subject, the Ministry has decided to proactively release the information.