New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.
The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over 45 years to receive vaccine invitations from mid to late August, those over 35 years from mid to late September, and everyone else being eligible from October.
“Our vaccination programme is ahead of plan, with nearly one million doses administered and operating at 107% of target,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“From the end of July we will enter a new phase of our vaccination programme when we start receiving the bulk of our vaccines and are able to broaden the rollout considerably to the wider population.
“We’re rolling out the vaccine based on age bands because it’s a simple approach most commonly used overseas and because the risk of COVID increases as you get older.
“When it’s your age bands’ turn to be vaccinated you will receive an invitation from the Ministry of Health to make a booking. You will get this invite either by email, text, mail or by phone.
“People will be asked to use the new Book My Vaccine online national booking tool to book their first and second doses. People will also be able to phone a new national vaccination booking call centre to make a booking if they wish.
“To reach those we need to in a timely way, we will be putting in place measures such as mass vaccine events, work place vaccinations and vaccinations for entire rural and isolated communities all at once.
“The Ministry of Health is currently consulting with large New Zealand businesses and Business NZ. Fonterra and Mainfreight are already lined up to be involved.
“Just as in 2020 we asked the team of five million to stay home to save lives, in 2021 we need the team to get vaccinated to save lives.
“High levels of vaccination will ensure we retain our hard won freedoms and proud place as one of the few countries in the world without COVID in the community.
“This is the largest and most complex vaccination campaign New Zealand has ever run. We will keep making improvements as we go, but we are well positioned to ensure every eligible New Zealander will have the opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of the year,” Jacinda Ardern said.