Auckland Delta outbreak: 78pct of eligible people who've caught COVID-19 yet to receive first dose of vaccine

Seventy-eight percent of people who have contracted COVID-19 during the latest outbreak have yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine, the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, revealed on Tuesday.

The latest data only accounts for the cases aged 12 and over - newborns and young children aged up to 11 are currently not eligible for vaccination. 

Speaking at the near-daily press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Dr Bloomfield added that only 4 percent of cases in the outbreak aged 12 and over - those who are eligible for the vaccine - have received both jabs. Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are required for maximum protection against COVID-19.

This information was up-to-date as of Monday, Dr Bloomfield said, when the outbreak stood at 955 cases.

"I've got the numbers here for the total 955 people, but I then went and asked for them to take out the zero-to-11 [age group] because they're not eligible," Dr Bloomfield said. 

"But the headline percentages I gave before are up-to-date and based on just the 12-and-overs, and that is 78 percent of people - no vaccines - and just 4 percent fully vaccinated. That is they've had their second vaccine at least two weeks before they became a case."

"And this is where [Health Minister] Andrew [Little] gets grumpy with me because he gave me those numbers on the way down and I didn't bring them with me," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joked.

Only 4 percent of people in the outbreak who are eligible for the vaccine are fully protected, having received both doses.
Only 4 percent of people in the outbreak who are eligible for the vaccine are fully protected, having received both doses. Photo credit: Getty Images

Fifteen new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Tuesday, a welcome drop from the 33 reported the day prior. The outbreak now stands at 970 cases, the vast majority of which have been detected in Auckland. 

The Government's vaccination rollout has picked up speed over the past few weeks, with the latest outbreak triggering a staggering surge in demand. The rapid uptick in vaccinations has seen the Government sign deals with both Spain and Denmark to procure an additional 250,000 and 500,000 doses respectively, which will allow the rollout to keep up with the current pace throughout September. A scheduled shipment of doses from Pfizer will arrive next month.

As of Tuesday, 4,380,953 doses of the vaccine have been administered to date, comprising 2,897,385 first doses and 1,483,568 second doses - meaning roughly 29 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated. 

More than 54,800 jabs were administered on Monday alone, comprising 34,145 first doses and 20,732 second doses.

Low vaccination rates among Māori and Pacific communities have come under scrutiny, with just 129,609 Māori and 89,576 Pasifika receiving their second jabs.

On Monday, Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillor Daniel Newman called for tailored public health campaigns, direct-to-whānau mobile vaccination and school-based programmes to boost uptake in Auckland's southern suburbs, saying the Government should adopt a "whatever it takes" approach to immunisation.