Vaccination target should be over 95 per cent - expert

Source: 1News

An epidemiologist says the Government's vaccination target will need to be "north of 95 per cent", in order for the nation's hospitals to avoid being overrun with Covid patients.

Speaking to 1News in light of the alert level announcement on Monday afternoon, Professor Rod Jackson said while it was pleasing to see targets soon to be set by the Government, Auckland was likely to be stuck in Alert Level 3 "for the foreseeable future".

"It's [the vaccination target] got to be north of 95 per cent. Those last five to 10 per cent are our most vulnerable. If they don't get vaccinated, our hospitals will be full and no one will be able to get into our hospitals," Jackson said.

He believed these people would need to be reached in "far more nuanced approaches" to get them vaccinated.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine vials in a row macro close up

"We have to pull out all the stops," Jackson said.

"The Vaxathon was a great idea but let's be frank, there's a significant proportion of the population who won't be touched by Vaxathon... It's going to be one-on-one, door knocking, it really will be about trust for a significant proportion of that group.

"The disadvantaged people we need to get to them through their leaders, through the people they trust, through Māori leaders, Pacific leaders and GPs."

The Government is set to announce the vaccination targets on Friday, and what they will mean for eased restrictions moving forward.

The Prime Minister refused to give anything away at the media conference on Monday, although Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield did say Auckland reaching 90 per cent with one dose was "a milestone" and the city would need to "keep going".