Government announces who is next in line for Covid-19 vaccine

The Government has revealed who is next in line for the Covid-19 vaccine. 

One of the prioritised groups are people from South Auckland who are over 65 or have underlying health issues. 

Timeline of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that there were 2 million New Zealanders "in line to start receiving the vaccine over the next four months with a focus on protecting those most at risk of getting the virus or being harmed by it, while also reducing the chance of ongoing spread and future outbreaks".

He said the prioritising of South Aucklanders "recognises that there are many border operations and MIQ facilities and their workforces based in this area". 

It comes after the Government secured an additional 8.5 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, meaning there was there will be enough to vaccinate every New Zealander.

"Every New Zealander will be able to get a vaccine and the vaccine will be free," Hipkins said.

"The rest of the population will be able to be vaccinated from July onwards and our plan is to have as many people as possible vaccinated by the end of the year."

The first group that is currently being vaccinated is MIQ and border workers. The next in the queue were their household contacts. 

Last week, the Prime Minister announced frontline health workers, such as Covid testers, ambulance staff and people working in GP clinics were third in line. 

Alongside this group is the people living in settings or locations that are high risk, such as South Auckland over 65s or people in long-term residential care.

Next would be people aged 75 years or older who were not included in the previous group, then people aged over 65, then people with underlying health conditions. 

"There are two further categories we are still looking at: one for people who may need to get a vaccine on compassionate grounds; and a national significance category, which could include groups who need a vaccine in order to represent New Zealand overseas."

Hipkins said the biggest factor in lifting Covid restrictions would be a "timely and high uptake of vaccines".

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it was pleasing to have started vaccinating household contacts of MIQ and border workers.

He also announced there was just one case of Covid-19 in managed isolation today.