COVID-19: Ashley Bloomfield defends Super Saturday vaccination event after criticism from ACT's David Seymour

The Director-General of Health is fending off criticism over the Super Saturday COVID-19 vaccination event.

On Sunday, ACT Party leader David Seymour hit out at the Government over the event calling it "fun but desperate". 

Through an array of strategies, gimmicks and encouragement from politicians and celebrities, 129,995 doses were administered. But only 39,024 were first doses.

Speaking with The AM Show on Monday, Ashley Bloomfield hit back at Seymour's criticism, saying the day was "incredible"

"He's not raining on my parade.

"I think what it was, was an incredible show of collective action, energy and commitment to getting ourselves vaccinated. And to get our total first dose rate up to 85 percent across the country… Tāmaki Makaurau just about cracking that 90 percent, I think that's an incredibly significant milestone and the effort on Saturday, both in terms of generating vaccinations but also answering a lot of questions and getting people out there. 

"And we are still vaccinating yesterday, today, we will be vaccinated throughout the week."

Bloomfield also hit back at claims the rollout may be about to plateau, saying they are still making progress. 

"When the vaccine was first made available people were asking us for a number (target), desperate for a number and people were talking about 70 percent well here we are at 85 percent and we are still climbing."

On Sunday, Seymour said the focus of the vaccine event was hype rather than delivery.

"The second doses were going to get done anyway," he told Newshub. "It's the first doses that matter and Super Saturday was the 21st best day for first doses. That's not significant at all."

Seymour urged the Government to tell New Zealanders what's next.

"The Government asked for political differences to be put aside yesterday, now it's time for a frank assessment.

"Jacinda Ardern and her Government will likely go into self-congratulation mode now because of a day of feel-good fun. Instead of doing a little dance, they should look to the future."

Seymour said it's time for Ardern to "say when" lockdown restrictions will be lifted in Auckland.

"What businesses, school students, and people awaiting vital surgery need is certainty."

ACT is calling for the Government to set a 'Freedom Day' when a certain vaccination threshold is met - like the one in Australia's Sydney. 

The AM Show host Ryan Bridge asked Bloomfield whether the lockdown would be lifted when 90 percent of eligible Aucklanders were vaccinated, but Bloomfield said that was up to Cabinet. 

"That's not my decision, that's Cabinet's decision but that 90 percent vaccination rate is clearly a key milestone and will play an important part of the Government's decision making."