COVID-19: Ministry of Health tells Auckland GP 'we don't need you' in COVID-19 vaccine rollout

GPs claim they're being left out of New Zealand's vaccine rollout, with the majority saying they're eager to be included.

A survey from the Royal College of General Practitioners found of 650 GPs, 58 percent wanted to be involved with the vaccine rollout. Nine percent said they didn't want to be involved, while 30 percent said they weren't sure.

Additionally, the majority of New Zealanders who are willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine - two-thirds - want their GP to administer it, according to new public sentiment research.

Dr Conrad Surynt of Manurewa Medical, one of the biggest GP clinics in south Auckland, wants to give his patients the COVID jab - but says the Ministry of Health told him his service wasn't needed.

"We put our hand up and a week later they said, 'Oh no, we don't need you'," he told Newshub.

After Dr Surynt received his jab, he worked out how long it would take to vaccinate the entire population. Based on the rollout at that vaccine hub, he said "it's going to be 208 years before we're all done".

That is much longer than the ministry's new goal to administer one million vaccine doses by the end of June.

Most GPs say they need to be involved to reach that goal.

"We're used to giving vaccines, that's what we do for a living," Dr Surynt said.

The College of GPs says the ministry hasn't been clear about how GPs will be involved in the vaccination campaign.

"We are now looking at adding in wider, more dispersed use of general practice and planning for that is underway," Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins adds that primary care practices, GPs, and pharmacists should expect to be engaged in administering vaccines from July.

July is when the general population is eligible to receive their jabs, with an online booking system set to be launched next month.

The Government is still waiting to hear about the efficacy of Johnson and Johnson's Janssen vaccine after it was put on hold in the United States, when six women developed blood clots.

New Zealand has pre-purchased that vaccine, but Medsafe is now requesting additional information before approving it. 

An update is expected in the next two to three weeks, but officials say that won't slow the vaccine rollout down.