New Zealand expects to vaccinate more than 350,000 people in a single day next week, the country’s largest ever COVID vaccination effort, as it nears reopening its economy.
Vaccination clinics will be open all day on Saturday, 16 October, said Chris Hipkins, the minister leading New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. He said the facilities would be able to vaccinate 350,000 people — about 8.3 percent of the eligible population aged 12 and older.
“As on Election Day, we will ask all of our civic and political leaders to contribute to our efforts to get the people out,” Mr. Hipkins said.
New Zealand has had one of the most successful responses to the pandemic, having recorded just 28 deaths from the virus. And although it was late to launch its vaccination campaign, the country is now on pace to fully vaccinate nearly 90 percent of its eligible population by the end of November.
New Zealand is the latest country to focus its intensive vaccination efforts on a single day. Tunisia in August Vaccination More than 500,000 people a day, and this month India said it shot 25 million in a single day to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday.
As of Wednesday, 50 percent of New Zealand’s eligible population had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, the only vaccine the country is using, while 80 percent had received a single dose.
New Zealand is reducing the time between receiving the first and second doses from six weeks to three weeks, a health ministry official said in a statement – a change that means “more people will soon be fully vaccinated”. which can increase our community immunity.” .
The country is currently giving about 17,000 first doses and about 46,000 second doses a day, as per the latest figures. Its first vaccination dose rate is declining, which is more than three-quarters lower than its August high, which is about 67,000 doses a day.
New Zealand has not set a vaccine target or date for easing restrictions, although Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday that the country would introduce a national vaccine certificate that would allow people to enter “high-risk settings” like summer music. will be required. Festival