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Vaccination numbers rise


Story by Soumya Bhamidipati

Wairarapa’s vaccination numbers continue to increase after the surge in demand created by the covid-19 Delta outbreak.

According to figures from Wairarapa District Health Board, the region’s health authority administered 4408 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the past week, taking the total number of shots to 41,833 by midnight on Sunday.

About 16,000 people in the region were fully vaccinated, while a further 9567 were partially vaccinated. This meant just under 26,000 people had received some form of protection against the virus, while the remaining 16,000 did not have the additional immunity provided by the vaccine.

The DHB hoped to have administered 70,938 doses by the end of the year.

Though Wairarapa’s population aged over 12 years old numbered 41,700, the DHB aimed to vaccinate 35,469 people, or 85 per cent of those eligible.

The percentage of doses delivered to Maori remained lower than other ethnicities, sitting at 35 per cent of the DHB’s target. Fifty-five per cent had been delivered to Pacific people, 69 per cent to Asians, and 59 per cent to other ethnicities.

Although the Ministry of Health made public its weekly vaccination data on Wednesday, it was no longer providing comparisons against each DHB’s vaccination plan.

“The increased vaccination demand caused by the August 2021 outbreak means the plans collected earlier do not provide a good comparator,” the report said.

The latest comparison reported by the ministry showed Wairarapa DHB had administered 37,425 doses as of August 29 and was 435 doses behind its original schedule at that time.

In mid-July, when the DHB’s vaccination rollout was about 2000 doses behind the ministry’s schedule, Community and Public Health Advisory committee member Justine Thorpe said the plan was not a good marker to measure against.

“The Ministry of Health statistics don’t actually fairly represent how well we’re doing because it’s based on numbers that were given months ago in uncertain times, and every DHB uses a different way to calculate those numbers, so we’re not measuring apples with apples,” Thorpe said.

“When I look at the data and compare between us here and in Wellington, the Wairarapa percentage of population is much higher than some DHBs.”

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