Vaccination rate of 90% 'a stretch' but possible for Auckland - experts

Nicole Bremner
Source: 1News

Health experts say it will be a challenge for Auckland to reach a 90 per cent vaccination target but it can be done.

The number of fully vaccinated Aucklanders, across the city’s three DHBs, currently sits at 74 per cent.

That means another 16 per cent of residents across the Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata District Health Boards require the jab for Auckland to reach its target.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern set a 90 per cent vaccination rate for all DHBs nationwide on Friday but acknowledged the difficulties of our largest city, having been in Level 3 for the past 10 weeks.

She encouraged Aucklanders to strive for the 90 per cent target and said it could move onto the new traffic light system earlier than other parts of the country if it achieved it first.

“Auckland will move into red as soon as all three of the Auckland DHB's hit the 90 per cent double vaccination target,” said Ardern.

She also said she expected Auckland to be out of the current Level 3 lockdown by Christmas.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 15: A woman scoots past Mission Bay beach on October 15, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland remains at COVID-19 Alert Level 3 with residents only permitted to leave home for essential reasons. Cabinet will review alert level settings on Monday, with any easing of restrictions depending on vaccination rates and how fast the virus is spreading. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

‘We've already modelled that even at the current rates Auckland would move before Christmas,” she said.

“But we want [Auckland] to move as soon as possible.

Ministry of Health advisor, Dr Jeff Lowe, said Auckland reaching 90 per cent is achievable but it will be "a stretch."

Lowe added that even if the goal is reached, Auckland will still be in for a Christmas outside the norm, due to this stage of the pandemic.