COVID-19: Super Saturday Vaxathon as it happened

New Zealand has successfully vaccinated more people against COVID-19 on Saturday than on any single day previously.

The Super Saturday Vaxathon was a live broadcast featuring stars including Lorde, Taika Waititi, Patrick Gower, Suzy Cato, Jason Gunn, Robyn Malcom, Antonia Prebble, Benee, Neil Waka, Hollie Smith and the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as part of the drive to get people vaccinated.

Aotearoa's previous record vaccination day was 93,000 jabs - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said she planned to have 100,000 administered on Saturday.

But that goal was crushed. By 5:30pm, a total of 124,117 jabs had been administered, comprised of 37,011 first doses and 87,106 second doses.

It's also an international record: Per capita, that figure makes our best vaccination day better than those of Australia, the UK, the US or Canada.

"Metro Auckland has also enjoyed its biggest ever vaccination day - by 5.30pm, 8327 first doses and 29,986 second doses," announced the Ministry of Health.

"It's also the biggest ever day for Māori vaccinations with 10,359 first doses and 10,427 second doses. And it's not over, with vaccination sites open as late as 10pm."

See below for how the Vaxathon broadcast updates as they happened.

6:04pm - The Vaxathon broadcast on Three has ended. The total number of doses administered stands at a whopping 126,485, but that number is set to grow as vaccinations continue into the evening. 

5:55pm - Patrick Gower performs a 'TikTok dance'

"There was no way I could chicken out of this TikTok," said Gower, before performing a routine he'd learned on the day.

Although he and Ashley Bloomfield didn't dance together, they both did indeed dance - but who danced better? Check out the embedded videos above and below to decide for yourself.

5:34pm - Total Super Saturday doses so far: 124,669

5:17pm - Ashley Bloomfield shows off his dancing skills

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has been caught on camera breaking out some dance moves at a Super Saturday event.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Bloomfield said he had been "waiting all day to have a dance out here in Porirua".

Karen O'Leary sings 'Get Ya Vaccine' at Super Saturday Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

5:15pm - Wellington Paranormal star Karen O'Leary sang a special song with a simple title: 'Get ya Vaccine'.

"Thank you very much, this song is called 'Get ya Vaccine'. Sing along at home if you want to - the words are pretty simple, it's 'get ya vaccine'," she said, before strumming the opening notes on her guitar.

"Get your vaccine, get your vaccine, come on Aotearoa and get your vaccine," O'Leary then sang.

"To help the people that you care about and love, go and get a tiny jab from someone in a glove. If you like going out for fun with your friends a lot, make sure that can happen and get the Pfizer shot!"

5pm - Total Super Saturday doses so far: 120,866

4:55pm - An eight-hour long live broadcast from several locations all over New Zealand of course means there's a fair few unforseen moments.

Commentator Tim McCready noticed one during the Vaxathon and shared it on Twitter, describing it as: "Absolute scenes... when the doors closed on these kids."

Thankfully, Newshub has not had any reports of the children actually being hurt.

4:30pm - Total Super Saturday doses so far: 116,849

Kiwi actor Robyn Malcolm was interviewed by Melissa Chan-Green on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport, where Air New Zealand has a parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner set up as a special vaccination centre: Jabaseat flight NZVAX.
Photo credit: Newshub.

4:20pm - Kiwi actor Robyn Malcolm was interviewed by Newshub's Melissa Chan-Green on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport, where Air New Zealand has a parked Boeing 787 Dreamliner set up as a special vaccination centre: Jabaseat flight NZVAX.

The Outrageous Fortune star said she has had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and suffered no side effects - but confessed she tried to blame a really bad tequila hangover on the second one.

And she had a special message to her fellow Westies: "This is a very special shoutout to West Auckland - we all know that you are the party animals of Auckland, so if any of you had not had a vaccine yet, let me tell you: it is just fine. The minute you do that you can get back to the rum and cokes straight away. So do it!"

3:55pm - Total Super Saturday doses so far: 110,207

Clarke Gayford DJs at Super Saturday Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

3:15pm - Jacinda nominates partner Clarke to DJ instead of her

Jacinda Ardern appeared uncomfortable when asked to perform an impromptu DJ set in the Vaxathon studio.

She volunteered her fiance Clarke Gayford for the job instead.

"Prime Minister how would you feel about jumping on the decks?" asked presenter Sonny Ngatai.

"Oh, very bad," said Ardern.

"It's fair to say that I, these days, always defer now to Clarke - so if you're desperate for a DJ, I'm going to get Clarke to take that job. He's an actual DJ."

Ngatai said his uncle was an anti-vaxxer but would get the COVID-19 vaccine if Ardern DJed.

"That is not true!" she laughed.

"Do you know what? Instead, I'll give him a phonecall. I'll give him a phonecall, we'll have a chat, I'll see if I can twist his arm to get vaccinated, how about that."

Gayford did step up to the decks, hit play on a song and gave a little scratch, too, as Gower danced.

Jacinda Ardern celebrates smashing target of 100,000 COVID-19 vaccinations on Super Saturday Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

3:10pm - Prime Minister ups target to 150,000 doses after first target smashed

"Amazing news! So, Aotearoa, we have now hit 100,019 vaccinations today, which is awesome!" Ardern exclaimed.

"Yes baby!" added Patrick Gower.

"But let's not stop there. We set a target for ourselves, Aotearoa, you've done it, but let's keep going," Ardern added.

Vaccination centres will be open late into the night, the Prime Minister said.

"Let's go for 150 [thousand]. Let's go big or go home!" Ardern said.

Gower tried to get her to make the target 155,000, but conceded 150,000 flat was "all G" when she refused.

3:05pm - There have now been 100,000 doses administered across the country on Saturday, meeting the Prime Minister's target.

Suzy Cato sings on the Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

3pm - Suzy Cato sings 'Kia ora, talofa'

The legendary New Zealand children's entertainer made an appearance in the Vaxathon to talk about getting the jab and sang little bits of her iconic songs.

"I'm not big on needles, but we're doing it for the right reason - the most vulnerable in our community," she said.

"For me, that includes my parents and other members of my whānau who already have breathing difficulties. By protecting myself, I'm helping to protect them.

"Let's put a 'seeya seeya later' together and say goodbye to lockdown."

2:55pm - With the COVID-19 website showing 94,792 doses of the vaccine having been administered so far on Saturday, it is now the biggest day ever for vaccine uptake - the previous record of 93,000 has been smashed.

2:30pm - Total Super Saturday doses so far for Māori and Pasifika:

  • Māori vax count - 13,689
  • Samoan - 3550
  • Tongan - 1927
  • Cook Island Māori - 1129
  • Fijian - 536
  • Niuean - 419
  • Tokelauan - 138

All Blacks lock and Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu is urging Pasifika to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the Pacific community lags behind in overall numbers.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins joking about Spread Your Legs on Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

2:17pm - MP welcomed on stage as the 'Spread Your Legs King'

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins joined the Vaxathon main stage and joked about his infamous verbal slip-up.

"I've had quite a few photos taken this morning at different vaccination sites around the Hutt Valley doing the whole 'spread your legs' joke thing. I figure, anything for a good cause," said Hipkins.

"If it gets people out, having a laugh and being vaccinated, it's all good."

2pm - Total Super Saturday doses so far: 78,327

Lorde gives bakery advice during Super Saturday Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

1:53pm - Lorde pleads for people to get vaxxed, offers bakery advice

The 'Royals' hitmaker made an appearance asking Kiwis to get vaccinated and offering a very New Zealand way to reward oneself for doing so.

"I wanted to say how important I think it is that you get your COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine helps to keep our whole community safe," said Lorde. 

"It also protects those who can't get the vaccine and who are susceptible to infection. 

"So let's keep those guys safe, let's get back to doing the things we love to do. I cannot wait to come and play a concert - I want us all to be sweaty and dancing, maybe even not wearing masks when we do that."

Lorde said she hates getting needles, but ever since she was a little kid she would treat herself at a bakery after getting an injection. 

"Normally for a custard tart - so, y'know, you could do that, get your jab, do something to protect your community and then get yourself a little tart, perhaps a little cream bun - apple turnover if you're feeling crazy. But please, please get that jab."

1:48pm - Taika Waititi invites a prize winner onto film set

The Oscar-winning filmmaker has invited someone who gets vaccinated against COVID-19 in New Zealand today onto the set of one of his future films. He even agreed to letting them have some sort of role, although the details are far from finalised - the prize was created on the spot, with Ardern egging him on.

Taika Waititi and Jacinda Ardern on Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

1:45pm - Jacinda Adern and Taika Waititi chat vaccines and nail art

The Prime Minister was very impressed by what was painted on the Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker's fingernails.

"Can you just give me another flash of those fingernails right now?" she asked.

Waititi held them right up to the camera, showing off some impressive white palm tree nail art.

Taika Waititi's white palm tree fingernail art.
Photo credit: Newshub.

"Do you want to set some targets for vaccines today and if we reach it you'll change up those fingernails?"

"Sure, sure!" he agreed.

At the time, the number of Māori vaccinated as part of Super Saturday was 12,000 - Waititi set a target of 25,000 by day's end for the nail art challenge.

Jacinda Ardern at Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

1:40pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is thrilled with the Super Saturday vax rate

Ardern's hope of beating the current record of 93,000 daily doses is now very likely to be achieved.

In her first appearance at the Vaxathon main stage, she said the amount of vaccinations being administered was "awesome".

"It's been fantastic having been out in the community today to see so many people joining us and that is why we now have 76,378 vaccinations delivered today, so doing really, really well," she said. 

"Of those 21,945 first doses and those first doses are just so critical, fantastic to see those numbers."

"Now the goal is just to smash that target, really. And of course we want Auckland to keep driving for those first doses, we want to get past 90 percent - there's a bit of work to be done there. We've got close to 5000 first doses there, we want to get closer to 30,000, so come on Auckland if you haven't had your first dose yet and you're in Tamaki Makaurau, head out!"

Hollie Smith holds up festival and concert passes during Super Saturday Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

1:30pm - Musician Hollie Smith held up an enormous collection of passes to the concerts and festivals she's played over the years, asking New Zealanders to get vaccinated so we can all go to more.

She said: "I just really want to get back to doing shows. Please, let me do shows! Thanks to all those who have got vaccinated and yeah, peace and blessings everyone, it's been a tough ride but we're getting there."

1:15pm - Total Super Saturday doses so far: 70,490

Kanoa Lloyd on Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

1pm - The Project NZ host and new mum Kanoa Lloyd joined live from her home

Lloyd shared what it was like getting the vaccine while pregnant. She talked with two doctors to make sure they were on the same page, as well as reading a range of news articles from trustworthy sources.

"That was enough for me to know that, OK, I'm doing the right thing," said Lloyd.

New Zealand's Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield promises to dance with Paddy Gower.
Photo credit: Newshub.

12:40pm - Ashley Bloomfield promises to dance with Patrick Gower

New Zealand's Director-General of Health, one of the most known public figures in the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, has promised to perform a 'TikTok dance' with Newshub's National Correspondent Patrick Gower.

Dr Bloomfield said: "I'm used to standing up at 1pm each day and getting all sorts of stuff thrown at me, question-wise, so I'm happy to take anything on and if it's joining Paddy in a TikTok dance I'm up for it."

He also had a message for people who are still worried about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

"I can understand why some people might be hesitant. But what I would say is we've got a really good, really safe vaccine here. It's been used on hundreds of millions of people around the world and we're approaching 90 percent of Kiwis who have opted to be vaccinated," he said.

"This is the right thing to do. Get advice, talk to someone who you trust, but a lot of people who you trust and know have been vaccinated now.

"You'll remember early on in the pandemic when we all worked together with that first lockdown and the message out there was: Stay home, save lives, be kind. Now the message has shifted, but it's pretty similar: Get vaccinated, save lives, be kind. You're being kind not just to yourself by protecting yourself but you are protecting others. 

"We've done this before, together, and we can do it again."

Taika Waititi chats live to Vaxathon.
Photo credit: Newshub.

12:11pm - Taika Waititi crosses live from Los Angeles

"I'd like to come home, selfishly. I'd like as many people to get vaxxed as possible so we can ease up on the border scenarios and have more of a flow in and out of the country. But also it just makes sense, more people to be safe and go out and continue our lives," the Oscar-winning filmmaker said.

12:07pm - Over 50,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses have already been administered.

Patrick Gower yells "Leshgo"!
Photo credit: Newshub.

12pm - Patrick Gower kicks things off

"It is a great day to be a Kiwi because I just got called Matua Paddy G," said Gower.

"I've got something special I do want to say: Leshgo!

"I know it's going to be a great day because people are making themself safe by having the vaccine and that's what we need in Aotearoa right now."

He also said today is a boil-up in which he is the pork bone.