COVID-19: Jacinda Ardern challenges Auckland to reach 90 percent vaccination rate in next two weeks

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has issued an "ambitious but doable" vaccine challenge to Aucklanders ahead of the next decision on COVID-19 alert levels.

The region is shifting from alert level 4 to level 3 at 11:59pm on Tuesday, but Cabinet will meet again on Monday, October 4 - two weeks from now - to decide whether to scale back coronavirus restrictions further.

The Government has been clear since the emergence of Delta in New Zealand that high vaccination rates are paramount if alert levels are to come down and stay down in the future.

And now Ardern has put the call out to Aucklanders to get the jab, hinting that it may make the difference when it comes to deciding whether to shift down to alert level 2 in a fortnight.

"So far we've had 1,132,510 Aucklanders who have now had their first dose - which represents 79 percent of the city's eligible population - and I'm hopeful we'll get to 80 percent very, very shortly," she told media at the coronavirus 1pm press conference on Tuesday.

"But every remaining person who remains unvaccinated is at risk and poses risk, so my challenge to Auckland is now this: let's keep going - let's see if we can get to 90 percent by the time Cabinet considers our alert level 3 settings in two weeks' time.

"Now that is an ambitious challenge, but it is doable. I've seen modelling that suggests if we go hard and do this right we can reach that goal, but it will require a team effort."

Ardern says getting the vaccine yourself is not enough, and urged those who'd already had a jab to encourage and help others do the same - whether it's "answering their questions, supporting them to find information or helping with a booking".

She went on to tell workers returning to their workplaces at alert level 3 to get vaccinated on Tuesday afternoon, before they go back in.

"This will provide you with a crucial layer of protection at level 3 - not just for you but for your workmates and those who may visit you as part of your work."

There are vaccination centres all over the region, and Aucklanders can find the one closest to them by going to the Healthpoint website. While many centres are by appointment only, there are also walk-in and drive-through options available that don't require a booking.

Ministry of Health data shows 39 percent of eligible New Zealanders are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 - that's 1,644,597 people. About three-quarters of eligible Kiwis - 74 percent - have had their first dose, and 79 percent have either had or are booked in for a jab.