The Southern District Health Board is more than 20,000 Covid-19 vaccinations behind where the Ministry of Health planned for it to be by now.
However, the board is adamant the vaccine rollout is going well and it remains confident of reaching its targets by the end of the year.
Data released by the ministry yesterday showed that in terms of matching its rollout plan, Southern remained the second-worst performing DHB, 20,549 doses or 12% behind schedule.
However, in terms of doses administered, the SDHB’s 153,995 was fifth in New Zealand and very close behind Waikato DHB in fourth.
SDHB Covid-19 vaccination programme lead Hamish Brown said the “ambitious” rollout plan for Southern had set out to vaccinate most of the population early and then have a “long tail” to reach remote populations by the end of the year.
The ministry’s plan had the SDHB hitting 7200-doses per week in mid-June, a target it barely exceeded in the week ending August 8 having given 7455 injections.
That still fell short of the boost in shots that the ministry had envisaged: last week its plan had the SDHB rising to 32,200 vaccinations per week.
Brown had told an SDHB committee meeting last week that he hoped to hit 19,000 doses last week.
“We have capacity across the district to meet the plan and continue to build on this so we strongly urge those eligible to book an appointment at one of our 121 providers across the district,” he said yesterday.
“It is also important to look at the volumes we are delivering each week, which continues to be high, thanks to the efforts of healthcare providers right across the district.
“To date, the programme has delivered over 160,000 vaccines and we are confident we will meet our target of vaccinating everyone by the end of the year.”
Brown said the SDHB had performed well in the first age brackets targeted for vaccination.
“Across the district, 82 per cent of those aged 65 and over; 79 per cent of those aged 60 and over; and 75 per cent of those aged 55 and over have either been vaccinated or are booked to [be],” he said.
“This swift progress through the age bands is thanks to the hard work of our healthcare providers.”