More than 200 under 12s caught Covid in Delta outbreak

More than a fifth of the Covid-19 cases in New Zealand's current Delta outbreak were children aged under 12, who are ineligible to be vaccinated. 

A child and a teddy bear wearing masks.

Vaccine data from the Ministry of Health shows just three per cent of the Covid-19 cases in the community Delta outbreak were fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, while 83 per cent were not vaccinated (that includes 21.4 per cent who were under 12). 

The latest outbreak has seen more than a fifth of the cases aged under 12, with 229 contracting Covid (21.4 per cent of total cases). Three of those young children were hospitalised.  

There was 1071 overall cases in the Delta outbreak as of 9am September 21, 694 of those have since recovered. 

Of the total cases, 890 were not vaccinated (83 per cent) - that comprised of 229 children under 12-years-old who cannot get vaccinated (21.4 per cent) and the remainder 661 people aged over 11 (61.7 per cent). 

Just over 12 per cent (132) of cases had received one dose, 74 (6.9 per cent) had their first dose less than two weeks before being reported as a case and the other 58 (5.4 per cent) had the vaccination more than two weeks prior. 

Forty-nine cases were fully vaccinated (4.6 per cent) - 17 of those (1.6 per cent) had their second dose less than two weeks before, and the other 32 (3 per cent) had been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks. 

Young New Zealanders aged 12 to 15 were only approved to have the Pfizer vaccine on August 19 and were included in the youngest age cohort that officially opened to under 30s on September 1. The recommended period between doses was also extended from three weeks to six. People aged 40 to 30 were only able to get theirs from August 25.

Of the 101 hospitalisations associated with the outbreak, 86 had not received any Pfizer doses and three were under 12 and ineligible to be vaccinated. 

There were 12 people hospitalised who had received one dose, but less than two weeks prior to being reported as a case and three who had one dose at least two weeks before being reported as a case. 

One person was fully vaccinated but had received their second dose less than 14 days before being reported as a case. 

As of September 12, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the number of cases aged zero to nine was 141. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at the time that vaccines "aren’t immediately available for children, and we hope in the future that that will change".

"For now the people who have the greatest responsibility to keep our children safe are us. By being vaccinated, we protect them."

On August 31, Dr Bloomfield also said it was "sobering that of the current Auckland outbreak, six are under the age of one ".