COVID-19 update 20 October 2021

News article

20 October 2021

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will update the media today at 1pm.

>> Kia ora koutou katoa, I will hand over to Dr Bloomfield for the case number is, and then I will run through schooling, MiQ and vaccines.

Sorry, I didn't give you much time to prepare.

>> Kia ora koutou katoa, there are 60 cases in the community to report.

56 in Auckland, four in Waikato.

1389 people have so far recovered.

That's a drop in case numbers from yesterday's 94 but we expect the numbers to bounce around and we said for the overall trajectory is they will keep rising.

22 of today's cases are yet to be linked but interviews are well underway and of yesterday's 94 cases 34 remain unlinked and again interviews are proceeding with those cases.

Today there are 43 people in hospital, five in the ICU or the high dependency units, and all are in Auckland except for one who is in hospital in the Waikato.

Testing yesterday was really good.

26,330 tests processed around the motu.

It's really important we maintain community testing at a high rate in Auckland in particular and testing remains available across Auckland at pop-up centres, and GPs and urgent care clinics.

Check the website to find out where.

Of the four cases today in Waikato, two are close household contacts already in quarantine and the other two are known to have likely links to existing cases.

The total number of cases in Waikato to date is 56, 10 of which have now recovered.

Testing continues across the Waikato, and I ask anybody with any symptoms in the Waikato please go and get tested, especially anyone in Te Awamutu and if you have been in contact with a case, please go and get tested whether you have symptoms or not.

Yesterday, Newlands Shadbolt Park was classified as an exposure location.

Having looked further into the event, which was being managed, it has now been assessed as an exposure event with a small number of people who are contacts.

They are all known and they have all been contacted and they are isolating.

No one else is being sought in relation to the event.

Testing in Auckland, the team has moved away from using suburbs of interest because infections are now quite widespread across Auckland.

Testing will be focused on those areas where they are finding higher test positivity rates where the risk of a net - - unidentified cases is higher.

So people with symptoms, even if they are mild, and if you have been vaccinated, in Rosedale, red Vale and Bayswater, please get tested as soon as possible and isolate until you get your result.

And also New Lynn.

Testing will ensure that cases are detected and dealt with as soon as possible.

Today testing is available in the community testing centres at New Lynn , North Harbour Stadium and NOrthcote and there will be additional testing available at Wairau Valley Rd.

From Thursday this week healthcare workers in MiQ will be allowed to work in other healthcare facilities without the need for the 48-hour standdown and negative test requirement.

This allows greater flexibility using the MiQ workforce, and of others being able to supplement that workforce and reduce some of the real pressure on that workforce.

It is particularly important in Waikato and Auckland as they move to supporting community cases to isolate at home.

There is a range of public health and other measures in place that will provide a high level of security and low risk from these moves, which includes all these workers who have been fully vaccinated and there is frequent surveillance testing and robust infection prevention control measures in place including use of PPE.

There have only been three MiQ workers infected since the pandemic began and all three of those were in 2020.

Just a quick clarification around the third dose for the immunocompromised people.

I reiterate this is 1/3 dose in the primary course for those people who are immunocompromised.

This is 1/3 dose of Pfizer vaccine for those 12+ for a small group of people.

There is detail going up on the Ministry's website this afternoon about the inclusion criteria and how those people will be identified and receive their third vaccination.

That will not be using Book My Vaccine.

You cannot book vaccine number three on that website.

The detail about how it is included and how the process will roll out will be on the Ministry website later this afternoon.

Finally, a shout out to all New Zealand's COVID-19 modellers.

One of my colleagues described modelling work as crucial in helping my public health colleagues, the public, and of course our decision-makers understand the impact of different policies and decisions including the impact of vaccination on our pandemic response.

Scenario modelling is incredibly useful understanding -- scenario modelling is useful understanding the impacts of our health measures and vaccinations.

Our advice we put through to cabinet is informed through that modelling and I want to acknowledge how critical that modelling has been and how fortunate we feel to have a group of such capable modellers here in New Zealand.

>> Thank you.

COVID-19 significantly disrupted many of our lives and I am acutely aware of the impact restrictions have had on our learners in our education system.

Exams are coming up for our senior secondary school students in particular and the stress of learning at home becomes more evident by the day.

The decision on schools and early learning services in Alert Level 3 areas is a finely balanced one.

We want our young people back in class as soon as we can but we want to keep them and the wider community say.

We have been consulting with education and sector leaders and based on the latest health advice we have determined students in years 11, 12 and 13 will be able to return to the classroom in an Alert Level 3 area from Tuesday 26 October, after Labor weekend.

That will allow those students back to school so they can complete their end of year exams and NCA assessments.

That age group can also be vaccinated and we require them to wear masks at school.

Staff and volunteers working on site will need to have a negative COVID-19 test before returning.

Children, young people, staff at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should stay home unless fully vaccinated.

Records are required to be kept for contact tracing purposes.

Face coverings on school transport are mandatory, staff and volunteers at schools in all regions need to have received their first vaccination by no later than November 15.

I confirm today that NCA and scholarship exams will proceed including an Alert Level 3 areas.

Auckland, Waikato and Northland have experienced further disruption during term 4 so the qualifications authority has confirmed these students will be eligible for an unexpected event grade that recognises the work they have done.

Students are still expected to attend exams where possible but the long established unexpected event grade process will reflect what happens in any year where a student's attendance and performance on exams is affected by illness or injury.

The grade is worked out on their schoolwork throughout the year so students in Auckland, Waikato and Northland who cannot attend exams because of a COVID-19 specific disruption will receive their unexpected event grade.

Where they attend the exam they will receive the better of their exam grade or their unexpected event grade.

NZ QA is working with schools to put health measures in place to protect staff and students in the rooms.

Those familiar with exams will know that social distancing is a part of the exam process and a normal part of exam conditions.

While classroom teaching and learning was disrupted by this pandemic, students have continued to work hard and they deserve the opportunity to safely demonstrate what they have learned so today's decision provides certainty to our senior secondary school students while recognising those who are not able to perform at their best will have their specific circumstances recognised.

For the years 1 to 10, the picture is more difficult.

I am not completely ruling out these students in Level 3 regions being able to return before the end of the school year, but if they do we need to be satisfied there are specific processes in place to minimise risk.

We have to acknowledge any setting where there are groups of children under the age of 12 create higher risk.

These are people who are not able to be vaccinated at the moment but there are mitigations we can put in place to keep risks as low as possible.

Things like rostered attendance to reduce numbers on site at any time.

In the warmer summer months, education outside the classroom in an outside environment where it is more difficult for the virus to spread is also more Cabinet will consider the latest health advice on schooling and focus on years one to 10 and early childhood next Tuesday.

Coming to manage isolation and quarantine, the changing nature of the COVID-19 response as we enter a phase where we have a more highly vaccinated community, and when we are dealing with a locally acquired cases in the community, does prompt changes to our border settings.

We are considering shortened MIQ stays and greater use of self isolation for those coming into New Zealand.

And I hope to be in a position to make more announcements on that in the coming days.

In the meantime we are making some changes to address specific challenges that some groups are facing.

From the end of November there will be an ongoing allocation of 300 rooms per month in our MIQ facility set aside for critical health workers.

We have created an allocation for ministerial travel for trade negotiations and international relations and decisions have been made about the November and December time sensitive travel allocations.

These are predominately going to the health sector, agricultural sector, engineers and technicians, military and diplomatic personnel, and 284 rooms have been allocated to 350 people across those groups.

That will help us to see skilled workers from a range of sectors entering into the country to carry out work that will have significant benefits to New Zealand.

I acknowledge there is heavy demand for MIQ spaces at the moment especially as we head towards Christmas.

We do need to strike the balance between connecting with the world, bringing people home, looking after our local community cases, and of course looking ahead.

To vaccinations, it would not be the Wednesday stand up without a quick update on vaccinations.

I think we can all be very proud with what we achieved over the weekend we need to give them meant going.

Today we are launching a new campaign called to shop for some of which were nominally targets the 16 to 29-year-old age cohort, the group that we have to get a better vaccination rate within if we are to get our rates really high.

Encouraging them to get fully vaccinated by December.

We are currently set at 85% of the eligible population in New Zealand having had the first dose, 67% being fully vaccinated.

The country also has its highest altitude vaccine, drive-through clinic in Arthur's pass, you get a good view but also a free coffee potentially and apply and the local retailers while you are there.

Before a wrapup I want to have a shout out, it is World Cleaners They saw a big thank you to them, they are integral to our COVID-19 response as well.

Thank you to them and all the work they've done over the last 18 months to keep us safe from COVID-19.

>> What provisions are in place for students and families who are too anxious about them returning or if they are isolating is a close contact you?

>> For senior secondary school students our indication here is that it is safe for them to go back.

The concentrations of vaccination rates we are seeing amongst our schooling population put them in a similar position to the large workplace.

Primary schools are different because they do not have the high concentration of vaccination amongst primary populations but for secondary school they do so it is not that much different to a large workplace in terms of the level of risk there.

There are those additional measures in place.

Schools will be working very hard to make sure they are giving people say.

>> What can you tell us in the Ministry of health press relief about the low doses of vaccines.

How was that able to happen?

>> Starting with a low-dose one, this was similar to previous incidents where this has happened where erroneously a vial that has just been used, and I should say even once a vial has been used there is still a residual amount of fluid in their, which is similar to the amount of what is in the vial before it is put in.

The incidents we've had, similar to this in the past, is it has just been used, picked up, and people do receive a dose but it is very deluded.


And therefore, what happens, -- die looted, there is a reconciliation at the end of every session so effective immediately and in that case it was picked up and then all of those were followed up and give it given advice.

The other was in Auckland where the vaccine within 24 hours after it had passed the 30 day period.

It had been in the term to a degree special fridge but it had just passed the 30 day period.

Those people have been encouraged to get a further vaccine.

>> Argue worried about how that might erode trust in the vaccine rollout, errors like that you?

>> -- RU.

-- TAB this affects a small amount of people in a program that delivered over 3 million vaccinations and the assurance I can provide people with the fact that these were found is a reflection of the quality, better assurances in place, and to make sure there anything that could go wrong in the context of tens of thousands of vaccinations being delivered each day, actually, our systems are there to find them and follow-up.

>> With more positive cases isolating at home how concerned are you about COVID spreading with people not following the rules and what procedures are in place to stop it from happening and perhaps you can also talk through these cases from MIQ and how they were able to escape?

>> My understanding.

We will work backwards if you like.

Two of the abscond as scale defences.

They were spotted doing that and they were out less than five minutes.

They were being watched the entire time they were out of the system was working as it should.

My understanding is with the third unrelated case, this was a person who was even permission to return home to collect some belongings and to care for a pet.

They were escorted during that time, they were allowed to enter their home and after 10 minutes they did not return and they have been able -- unable to be located since then.

But all the information I have on that so it was an escorted visit but clearly someone who has provided wrong information.

And has therefore broken the rules.

I'm just trying to remember the first part of your question.

>> Positive calluses isolating at home, -- positive cases.

How are they being monitored?

>> Those higher risk cases, particularly where we are not confident that they will be following the rules, we have the ability to move them into MIQ.

Other cases where it is low risk where people are following the rules and they can settle isolated home, that is the better place for them to be isolating bearing in mind some of these people will be asymptomatic in cases.

At-home isolation will become more of our response.

>> In what you outlined yesterday about isolation, it seems like someone has moved to somewhere that isn't their primary residence and what can you say about that and is it accurate?

On Waiheke Island?

>> I can give you information not related to border bridges but there is nothing to suggest that.

The person has been interviewed by public health team, they are an essential worker who was exposed and they isolated safely, they were able to isolate alone in a place that is.

Where there is no contact with other people on the property.

They have been assessed as low risk.

The way they travel to Waiheke Island was on the ferry and they were inside the car the whole way so no exposure events at all on Waiheke Island.

It has been assessed.

>> Asking people where they would prefer to isolate as is opposed to, I presume, self- harm isolation in your own home.

Is that.

Is that a desirable situation?

>> I can't comment on the particular case but I do have confidence in our teams in Auckland and the nature of the discussion they had with people about their understanding of their ability to isolate safely, and for some people, that will entail going to another place so they can isolate safely away from their whanau family members, to protect their family members from being infected and it sounds like in this case it is all watertight and the public health officials have assessed it is very safe there.

>> The mainland don't you?

>> What about the immunocompromised?

We understand it is not able to be probed more or evidenced that you are immunocompromised to get the third dose.

Is that accurate and will it be a problem?

>> What I would say is that the information will be on the Ministry website, presently actually, that the criteria are very explicit and quite narrow and people who fulfil the criteria will be reached out to from their clinician to come and get the third dose.

It will be on prescription.

And it will be administered.

But it is a very specific set of criteria.

If people, once they have seemed a little unsure, they should contact their practitioner to see that qualify.

>> Joe and Jason.

>> When they turn up, for the third dose, they can't just go up to a clinic and begin?

>> Correct, it will need to be on the advice and prescription of their clinician because this is 1/3 primary dose in the course which is different from everybody else who is having the two dose first Coast -- author.

>> Can I get some clarification on the question around year nine and 10, because we are talking about those under 12, those two age groups that would be under 12, if they are able to get vaccinated why would you not bring them back to the schooling system?

>> It recognises we still want to minimise the amount of students on site at this particular point as much as we can.

As we continue to get our vaccination rates up.

And there will also be some logistical challenges for the schools as well.

I had a conversation with a couple of school leaders this morning and one of the things they pointed out to me as the number of the teachers who have students under 12 you cannot go back to school as well.

I mean, I guess, that was not one of the factors in making the decision but it is a flow on benefit from it and it will help the school to be able to manage that balance as well.

Ultimately it is a numbers thing.

We know though senior secondary school students need to be back on site to prepare for exams, to do their assessments, and that is why we prioritise them for coming back earlier than we might otherwise have.

>> Guidelines been put out for principals to do presumably case-by-case.

Assessments of teachers who may not be able to get vaccinated by the deadline.

There will be some sort of quite niche type scenarios there?

Like pregnant teachers for example who are wary about the vaccine, who will be going on maternity leave, and coming back vaccinated but, you know, don't want to get vaccinated for a period.

How will you get around those things and when can you provide schools and guidelines that make schools with guidelines?

>> I can indicate the building of compliance, if you like, between now and the end of the year, but with the individual not the school, from next year, from wonderfully vaccinated requirement kicks in, there will then be a compliance base requirement on the employer, the school, to make sure they are only having on-site fully vaccinated people.

We will make that all clear in the order when it is released.

It is one of the few things we are working our way through to make sure we are very clear about it.

The Ministry of education have also been working with the teaching unions and others around the processes that should be put in place to deal with those who for whatever reason are not willing to be vaccinated and there is an interaction with other provisions with in their employment agreement, with teachers being able to apply for periods of unplayed leave for example -- unpaid.

So if someone does every year for example because they do not want to be vaccinated we need to have some agreements around exactly how all that would play out.

Those other things being worker at the moment.

Of course we cannot do that, the particular piece of work, until we know what the requirements will be.

That is the work happening now.

>> One must question for you, Doctor Bloomfield.

As Andrew Little said the BH fees have failed on vaccination.

Is he wrong?

>> No doubt the later rower entire faculty -- there are two others down the other low inch of the range in Ttairawhiti and Ttaranaki and they are working hard to get the highest coverage in their Maori regions.

Those DHP's along with all of our other DHP's have got high rates of coverage and older Maori populations which are the highest risk.

The challenge now is they now are working on and need somebody to work harder than others, to get the rates up amongst younger age groups.

>> And all due respect my question was about enrolment.

>> Can tell you what has been done by the DHP's and how we can support.

>> Jason.

>> The paranormal and women who went it and put it into lockdown, do they.

Have they been judged?

>> Of a.

They still being interviewed?

>> They are in MIQ now my understanding but I don't have further information.

>> Will they face charges or have repercussions.

>> Ultimately that is not a decision I make, that is for others.

I don't have the authority to make those decisions.

>> Why is it taking so long for schools on level III, so late in the outbreak in the school year, and schools are behind.

>> As I said as I outlined in my introduction, that schools are the highest concentrations of unvaccinated people in the country once schools are back to operating as normal and it has been a huge factor.

It has been weighing on our minds.

Younger people including those who can be vaccinated are the latest to join the vaccination campaign and their rates of vaccination continue to be the lowest of the age cohorts.

But they are starting to come up and that is really encouraging.

We want to see them come up through.

One of the things we will be doing between now and the end of this week and into next week is making sure where schools want to be delivering vaccinations onsite that the health providers are working with them to do that because we know that we get quite a high uptake when it's available.

For some of those schools are a bit nervous about this, one of my messages to them is to get in touch with your local health providers and get vaccinated on site because that will add extra protection to your whole school community when you do >> Why are you reluctant installing it airfield is in schools?

-- air filters, it has been done in Australia.

>> They are different climates, they are warmer and they may already have air-conditioning installed in their schools and they are adding extra filtration units to those systems.

New Zealand schools are typically not built with evidence of a built in, the built-in ventilation systems are windows and doors.

So installing air conditioning systems is a pretty big undertaking, and it would take quite some time and have significant cost associated with it.

Heading into summer, having the windows and doors open is often the best way of ventilating those rooms anyway and would be as effective if not more so than artificial ventilation units in the corner, for example.

>> Are some of them not just literally plugged into the wall?

>> But again that unit is not necessarily going to be ventilating the room as well as having all the windows and doors open.

There are assessments being done of the classroom environments.

Some schools don't have windows that open and we have to look at those environments.

>> Are you writing it off entirely?

>> Looked at the availability of the units and the cost.

Hundreds of millions of dollars if we do that for every classroom so it is not feasible and there would not be enough.

There is a series of international demand around these kinds of units.

But I am saying it is possible where there is a justified need for it.

If there are classrooms with sealed windows and there is no other ventilation, that's the sort of thing we would look at.

The Ministry of education does air quality assessments on classrooms outside of COVID-19 considerations so air quality issues are things that the ministry has been grappling with already.

>> Minister, what is happening with the South Island?

>> At this point we have to be aware that COVID-19 could still make its way to the South Island community and by the time we detect that it could have started to spread.

Which is why South Island, Wellington, the Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, those other places where there are no cases at the moment I'm still in Alert Level 2.

I remind everybody in the South Island we are in the position that we are in now because one person somewhere along the way contracted COVID-19, it was a week before we found out about it and now we are where we are.

Things can change quite quickly and that's why we have the extra protective layers in place to slow any spread.

>> There is an argument if this was the other way round, if there were cases in Christchurch and not Auckland, you would not lockdown Auckland so why have you not made some kind of arrangement for the South Island effectively using the Cook Strait as a moat?

>> It is not a moat.

Dozens of planes fly every day between the islands and there are interisland ferries sailing between the islands.

There is still a lot of movement between the islands.

>> Dr Bloomfield this seems to be an opinion that the spread of the virus to the South Island is imminent, how likely is that?

>> It is not eminent -- imminent and the way to deal with it is to keep the tight boundaries that we have so that if there is an incursion it is got on Top of very quickly.

>> Testing in Redvale and other North Shore suburbs, does that reflect ongoing risk over the weekend?

Not specifically.

There is nothing to suggest there has been infection or any super spreading event related to that party.

It is coincidental and reflects as much low testing rates so they have a positivity rate that has crept over 1% and we want to get more testing done there.

>> With the number of unlinked cases in Auckland and that there are cases in almost every suburb, there has been talk about how contact tracing has changed.

Can you talk about how different it is compared to August, for example?

>> Having learned from our experience to date and the outbreak, we are not actively following a people previously would have classified as casual contact because we are not seeing any spread from casual interactions through the tens of thousands of people initially in the outbreak which we classified and followed up rigorously.

That category has been dropped.

The other thing that is happening is we're moving to prioritise in cases where we think there might be people at higher risk and may be because they are essential workers and they are in workplaces, and really focusing on those high risk cases.

And we will be moving to an approach where that first interaction will be done in a very timely way but through a phone call, a triage kind of phone call to assess the level of risk and the support someone might need, and then using our public health teams to follow- up more intensively with those high risk cases to find out their contacts.

>> Related to that, Carolyn McCallum they said last week contact -- McElnay said the contact tracing teams were coming under strain.

Are you bolstering their capacity, especially when modelling suggests we could be at a lot more cases?

>> Two things about that, Dr Caroline McElnay said if we kept the system of approach with intensive follow-up of every case and contact that would put strain on the system.

Two things, now we have delegation out of Auckland.

They are delegating quite a proportion, around 50% of cases every day to other public health units around the country to follow-up, and our national team.

Secondly it is shifting the model as I have said to a triage of the cases with the initial phone call and then efforts are focused on those that are high risk.

>> And the capacity under the new model?

>> That could go to hundreds of cases per day because the initial outbound call would be quite short and eliciting key information, and then we can use our public health teams who are on stand-by right around the country and who are resourced to maximum capacity, and they would follow the highest risk cases.

>> The number of unlinked cases as well, it's often viewed as an indication of the size of the iceberg.

Do you have an indication from modellers or your own point of view of how many other unlinked cases might be out there, given we are at 146 now.

>> The question was about unlinked cases.

What I would say about unlinked cases, first I would say the modelling shows the R value is between 1.

2 and 1.

3 and therefore case numbers are respected to grow and double every 10 or 12 days.

And they will move around a bit as I said earlier.

The other thing is the number of unlinked cases we would expect to grow, and the important thing now is not to try to trace where the link is to the outbreak but to focus on following up those cases and any contacts so we're not quite so worried about where the cases have come from.

>> If contact tracing gets overwhelmed, if you cannot manage hundreds of cases, will you revert to asking positive cases to start monitoring themselves, use the DIY system they used in NSW?

>> In a sense we do that already.

For many families, if someone has gone into a facility and other family members are staying at home, the most important thing we are asking them to do is if anyone fell of symptoms to get in touch with health -- develops symptoms, to get in touch with the authorities quickly.

As the Minister pointed out, we are continuing to evolve the quarantine system and I talked today about the nature of how we use staff across the quarantine system.

>> There was a question earlier about vaccine mandates.

In the kura feels they haven't had any support regarding vaccination.

They are on the brink of closure because people have refused to get vaccinated.

Have you seen that throughout New Zealand, what will you do?

>> We haven't had widespread reports.

If schools are concerned contacted the Ministry of Education in the first instance and we will make sure you get additional support.

>> I don't know if you saw earlier National released its economic plan for COVID-19 and it included opening up December 1 or when vaccination rates get to 90%, what is your thought on those proposals?

>> It's difficult to keep track.

They keep changing their proposals, what they put forward this week seems different to what they spoke about a couple of weeks ago and I haven't had the chance to see them.

>> In coming days, changes have been foreshadowed to MiQ, is that Friday or next week ?

's big Mac most likely next week.

>> Most likely next week.

>> The changes allowing people to spend less time in quarantine will come into effect in 2022, the PM has talked about Delta speeding up the timeline, is there any prospect of those changes coming into force in 2021?

>> I think you will see changes to the MiQ settings this year.

I hope to set them out late this week or early next week, probably early next week.

We are working through the details.

There will be some changes but it will be a progression.

One of the comp locating factors we have to work through -- complicating factors, MiQ operates across the country but the bulk of people are in Auckland and people want to go across the country and not just stay in Auckland so the risk assessment is different and that's a complexity we have to work through.

We will have more to say on that and it will be soon.

I acknowledge many people are interested in the answers to those questions so we are working hard to get those answers to them as quick as possible.

>> Is Christmas a date you would like to give people good news?

>> I don't want to raise expect Asians or lower them.

-- expectations.

>> (INAUDIBLE) providing income for families particularly in low socio-economic areas?

>> I am aware of that and the longer we leave it before we allow secondary students to come back, the more students there will be in that category.

That has significant flow on effects for those students for the rest of their lives, so that's why we prioritised senior secondary school students first above all else because we want them to have the opportunity to do their exams, get their assessments, and that will help set them up for greater success in the workforce or whatever they do next, further study and so on.

They are a number one priority because I am absolutely attuned to all the risks there.

>> Will they be able to come under that unexpected event.

, What support will you give those students?

>> Those seeking the unexpected event grade still need to be at school.

Though students should be staying at school, sticking with their studies -- those students.

I encourage them to do that.

I acknowledge the going is tough at the moment but they have to think about their whole lives and not just the next couple of weeks.


>> You said recently it was filling up, there are 488, is there any room left?

>> There is a bit of room left in community quarantine for us to bring more people in.

People are leaving all the time, so we still have capacity to honour all the bookings that have been made.

Those who have secured vouchers to come in will still be able to.

We have freed up a bit of additional space for further community cases, higher risk cases, to isolate in MiQ.

But it's a system which is pretty full.

It has been pretty full for a while now so that does put pressure on the system.

>> How many people with COVID are isolating at home?

>> I don't have the number from today, yesterday was 88 from 55 households but we can get updated numbers for you from today.

>> The last couple of questions, if you could be brief, and we will try to give brief answers to get through them.

>> Maintaining momentum on vaccinations, Super Saturday as you called it was significant but it has significantly dropped since then.

Have you brought forward vaccinations that were already going to occur and therefore you are not seeing the momentum anymore?

>> The answer to that question is no.

We saw higher rates of vaccinations on super Saturday and that was encouraging.

Many would have been second doses so they would have been gotten anyway but the momentum behind it helped us to get more first doses.

>> Will be not return to the rate of doses that we had last week, for instance, have you lost momentum?

it starts to get harder and harder from here.

We need 200,000 people who need to be vaccinated still to get to the 90% mark across the country.

It might be just under 200,000 hour but it is hovering around that marker and, you know, it will be harder and harder.

There is no question about it.

We always reach this point at some time make some stage.

We are there now and we know we need you move closer to those people in order to encourage them to come forward to be vaccinated rather than wait for us to come -- then to come to us.

>> Those who have had their vaccines more than six months ago.

>> We are ready to go with booster shots.

We have available.

We have a network available.

Just as soon as our technical experts and health experts say this is where we think science has landed on boosters, this is the time frame we think they should be available made available to people, so we are ready to go.

And I will give the director- general to update it.

>> What we are waiting for is the application from Pfizer vaccine next week for an adjustment to the current provisional approval to include 1/3 booster shot.

>> Inaudible Mac >> As quick as possible and hopefully next week will lay out the time frames.

>> We are expecting to be starting booster shot, if the site slams up, this side of Christmas this year.

>> Sorry, the party that took place in Greenvale, whether any cases that have swarmed from that party or from a gathering in the Auckland Domain last week?

>> No evidence from either at this point.

>> 800 extra rooms of the allocation of MIQ, what will it mean for our COVID-19 response?

Will we have more bit on the ground?

>> With them working really hard to bring in critical health worker since the board is closed and they been prioritised for MIQ previously.

This is getting the more certainty to be able to plan and allocate dispensers across the people we need to come but I can't remember the latest number.

It is a significant number of health workers who have already come into our MIQ season.

>> Thousands.

It is great to have those 300 places set aside and we can work together to ensure we get our high-spirited workers into MIQ.

>> All right, thank you very much, everybody.


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