COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan: South Aucklanders over 65 or with underlying health issues next in line

South Aucklanders over 65 with underlying health issues are next in line for COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Government's new rollout plan.

The Government's targeted rollout schedule unveiled on Wednesday shows over the next three to four months, vaccines will start to reach around 2 million New Zealanders in most at-risk groups.

The plan prioritises people most at risk of harm if they get the coronavirus and those who live and work in places where they are most likely to pick it up, such as hospices, residential care and emergency services.

Those in south Auckland who are over 65 or who have underlying health issues will start being vaccinated from the end of March.

"We are setting out the plan today after securing enough Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for everyone in New Zealand to get the two doses they need to be fully vaccinated against the virus," COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. 

"This is a balanced plan that prioritises reducing the chance of future outbreaks while protecting our elders, those with underlying health conditions and those who live in locations where we know outbreaks have occurred."

Around 64,000 Pfizer doses arrived in Auckland on Monday, bringing New Zealand's total number of COVID-19 vaccines to around 265,000 – enough to vaccinate more than 132,000 people with two doses needed for maximum protection.

Group 1

The 50,000 border workers, their household contacts and the people they live with. This started last month and the vast bulk will be completed this month, with at least one dose administered.

Group 2

This started in February and will continue through to May. It includes approximately 480,000 frontline workers and people living in high-risk settings, beginning with 57,000 healthcare workers on community frontlines, and then moving through to healthcare workers protecting the most vulnerable and some priority populations.

Group 3

This is priority populations - approximately 1.7 million people who are at higher risk if they catch COVID-19. This is planned to start in May.

Group 4

This is when the remainder of the population is vaccinated from July - approximately 2 million people.

The full framework:

COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan: South Aucklanders over 65 or with underlying health issues next in line

Quick facts:

  • Approximately 40,000 courses are being allocated to Māori and Pacific providers who are working directly with older people.
  • Anyone who lives in the Counties Manukau area who is 65 and older or who has an underlying health condition is also in Group 2.
  • Workers and residents of long-term residential care environments will get the vaccine at their workplace.
  • An online tool that helps people find out when they can get the vaccine will be launched shortly.
  • There are two further categories the Government is still looking at: one for people who may need to get a vaccine on compassionate grounds, and a national significance category, which could include groups who need a vaccine in order to represent New Zealand overseas. Decisions on this will be made at Cabinet in the coming weeks.