South Canterbury to hit 90% fully vaccinated today; 56 community cases; 51 people in hospital, 7 in ICU

News article

22 December 2021

There were 21,763 total vaccine doses administered yesterday, including 1,727 first doses and 7,221 second doses. To date, 94% of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 91% are double-dosed.

South Canterbury DHB is expected to become the eleventh DHB to hit the 90% fully vaccinated milestone later today based on uptake among its eligible population, with just 59 doses to go as of 11.59pm yesterday.

Next in line based on uptake by their eligible populations are Hawkes Bay DHB (1,308 doses); and Waikato (2,866 doses).

Boosters update

A suite of precautionary measures were announced yesterday in light of emerging experience overseas with Omicron.

This included shortening the period between the second and booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine from six months to four months.

This change comes into effect for walk-in vaccinations from 5 January, and bookings can be made on from 17 January.

We encourage anyone who is more than six months post their second vaccination to get their booster now. Other people should wait until 5 January – there will be plenty of booster doses available and no one will miss out. 

At this stage, booster doses should only be offered to adults aged 18 years or over.

5-11 year-olds

Parents and caregivers will be able to book vaccinations for 5-11 year-olds from 17 January.

More information on vaccinations

Holiday reminder

People should stick to the basics to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 over the Christmas and New Year break.

That means wearing a mask or face covering and physical distancing in crowded or unventilated spaces, and scanning in using the COVID-19 Tracer app or keeping a manual diary.

As always, people who have any symptoms that could be COVID-19 are asked to get a test and stay at home until they receive a negative result.

The vaccine remains our key defence against all variants of COVID-19, including Omicron. We continue to ask everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, including people who are now eligible for a booster dose.

Testing and vaccination centre locations nationwide can be found on the Healthpoint website.

Omicron update

Six new cases of Omicron have been detected in recent returnees in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

That takes the total number of international arrivals to New Zealand with the Omicron variant to 28.

Between the first Omicron case being reported to the World Health Organization on 24 November to 20 December, (the latest data available) 11,014 returnees to New Zealand have been through managed isolation at the border. Of those, 1,877 returnees have gone through managed isolation since whole genome sequencing first identified Omicron at the New Zealand border on 16 December.

Since 1 December, 45 COVID-19 cases have been detected at the New Zealand border, with 28 of those with Omicron.

Health and MIQ teams have been carefully planning for Omicron cases at the border and will continue to manage all arrivals cautiously. This includes isolation and testing requirements for all new arrivals, robust infection and prevention control and PPE measures at airports and MIQ facilities, and frequent surveillance testing of staff who have any contact with recent international returnees.

COVID-19 vaccine update

  • Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people): 3,967,995 first doses (94%); 3,815,424 second doses (91%); 26,178 third primary doses; 239,705 booster doses
  • Vaccines administered yesterday: 1,727 doses; 7,221 second doses; 860 third primary doses and 11,995 booster doses
  • Māori (percentage of eligible people): 497,845 first doses (87%); 448,591second doses (79%)
  • Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people): 270,173 first doses (94%); second doses 255,010 (89%)
  • Vaccination rates by DHB with active cases (percentage of eligible people):  
  • Northland DHB: First doses (88%); second doses (83%)
  • Auckland Metro DHBs: First doses (96%); second doses (93%)
  • Waikato DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (89%)
  • Bay of Plenty DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (88%)
  • Lakes DHB: First doses (92%); second doses (86%)
  • Taranaki DHB: First doses (93%); second doses (88%)
  • Hutt Valley DHB: First doses (95%); second doses (92%)
  • Nelson-Marlborough DHB: First doses (95%); second doses (90%)
  • Canterbury DHB: First doses (98%); second doses (94%)


  • Cases in hospital: 51; North Shore: 6; Auckland: 21; Middlemore: 21; Waikato: 2; Tauranga: 1
  • Vaccination status of current hospitalisations (Northern Region wards only): Unvaccinated or not eligible (23 cases / 49%); partially immunised <7 days from second dose or have only received one dose (5 cases / 11%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (10 cases/ 21%); unknown (9 case / 19%)
  • Average age of current hospitalisations: 50
  • Cases in ICU or HDU: 7 (1 in North Shore; 2 in Auckland; 4 in Middlemore)


  • Seven day rolling average of community cases: 59.7
  • Number of new community cases: 56
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 4
  • Location of new community cases: Auckland (33), Waikato (6), Bay of Plenty (11), Lakes (4), Taranaki (1), Hutt Valley (1)
  • Number of community cases (total): 10,375 (in current community outbreak)
  • Number of active cases (total): 1,653
  • Confirmed cases (total): 13,219
  • Cases epidemiologically linked (total): 7,721


  • Number of active contacts being managed (total):: 6,702
  • Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 85%
  • Percentage who have returned at least one result: 78%


  • Number of tests total (last 24 hours): 22,223
  • Tests rolling average (last 7 days): 19,816
  • Auckland tests total (last 24 hours): 8,858


  • Wastewater detections: Hutt Valley, Napier.


  • Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday: 3,337,724
  • Manual diary entries in 24 hours to midday: 43,156

My Vaccine Pass

  • My vaccine pass downloads total: 4,432,184
  • My vaccine pass downloads (last 24 hours): 27,690

New cases identified at the border 

Arrival date 



Positive test day/reason 

Managed isolation/quarantine location 

19 December 


Direct flight

Day 0 / routine


11 December



Day 9/ routine


14 December

United States of America

Direct flight

Day 5/ routine


Historical cases identified at the border 

Arrival date 



Positive test day/reason 

Managed isolation/quarantine location 

9 December



Day 9/ routine


Wastewater update

A wastewater sample collected from Hutt Valley on 20 December detected the COVID-19 virus, which is not unexpected given the case reported today, self-isolating in the area.

A separate wastewater detection was from a sample collected from Napier on 20 December. This is the third, consecutive positive wastewater result from Napier in the past week, which may be due to undetected community transmission or a recently recovered case returning to the region shedding the virus.

There was an unexpected wastewater detection, in Whitianga, on 20 December. which may be due to undetected community transmission or a recently recovered case returning to the region shedding the virus, but is no longer infectious.

There also was an unexpected wastewater detection, in Dargaville, on 20 December following a previous positive detection on 7 December.

COVID-19 continues to be detected in wastewater samples collected in Gisborne with the latest detection on 20 December 2021.

Anyone who has symptoms – no matter how mild – is asked to get tested, even if they are vaccinated - and stay home until they return a negative test result. For all testing locations, please visit the Healthpoint website.

There are no other new, unexpected wastewater results to report.

Wellington Region

Today, we are reporting a new case of COVID-19 in the Hutt Valley area of the Wellington region, with a link established to the Lakes DHB area.

The case is self-isolating, and case interviews have identified a small number of household contacts, who are also isolating with testing arranged.

Case investigations have determined five initial locations of interest, which have been added to the Ministry’s website. Members of the public are asked to monitor the Ministry’s locations of interest page, which is updated regularly.

We are also asking anyone in the Hutt Valley area with symptoms – no matter how mild – to please get tested, even if they are vaccinated - and remain isolated until they return a negative test result.

Local testing sites can be found on the Healthpoint website.


Today, there are 33 new cases being reported in Auckland. 

Health and welfare providers are now supporting 1,941 people to isolate at home, including 590 cases. 


There are six cases to report in Waikato today; three in Te Kūiti, two in Tokoroa and one who usually resides outside the Waikato and is isolating in Te Kūiti.

There are ten pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating throughout Waikato today with sites in Hamilton, Te Kūiti, Tokoroa, Putāruru, Taumarunui, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia and Ōtorohanga.

Health and welfare providers are supporting 54 cases to isolate at home

For a full list of testing sites, see the Waikato DHB website.

Bay of Plenty

There are 11 cases to report in the Bay of Plenty today.

Of today’s cases, 10 are in Tauranga area and one in Murupara.

Ten of today’s case, including the new case in Murupara, are linked to previously reported cases, and one is still being investigated for potential links.

All cases are isolating at home.

In Murapara, local iwi health provider Te Ika Whenua Hauora is managing testing and vaccination with support from the DHB. A testing centre has been opened and details are available on the Healthpoint website.


There are four cases to report in the Lakes DHB area today, including three in Rotorua and one in Taupō.

All four cases remain under investigation for links to previously reported cases. All cases are isolating at home.


Today, one new case is being reported in New Plymouth, which is linked to a previously reported case in New Plymouth.

The case is isolating at home.

Local testing sites can be found on the Taranaki DHB website.

MIQ absconder update

The recent returnee who self-discharged from Middlemore Hospital on Monday along with their child, has voluntarily returned to the facility where they are completing their managed isolation.

The child, who had been taken to Middlemore with their parent as they were too young to be left unattended in managed isolation, has also returned. They returned to the MIQ facility last night. They have seven days of their isolation still to complete.

Further tests have been carried out on both the parent and child.

Police will make enquiries into the incident to see if any further action is required.

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