Northland is teetering on the brink of the 80 percent fully vaccinated milestone, and we expect to reach 90 percent of at least one dose by the end of December.
Nearly 20,000 first doses were administered during October and November. There are now only five and a half thousand more vaccinations needed for the region to reach 90 percent first dose coverage.
This growth is also reflected in the vaccination rates for Northland's Māori and Pacific populations.
Over 93 percent of Northland Pacific people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 80 percent of Māori. A further 5,000 first doses are needed for Māori to reach the 90 percent mark, which Northland DHB believes is achievable.
In October, nearly 8,700 Māori received their first dose compared to 2,803 Māori receiving their first dose back in July.
Jeanette Wedding, Senior Responsible Officer for the Northland COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, says that she is excited to see the progress that Northland is making.
"Northlanders should be proud of this milestone, and for doing what they need to, to protect themselves and their whānau against COVID-19," she says.
"Over the last two to three weeks, the rate of Māori receiving their first dose has increased greatly. Last week Māori first dose was sitting at 75 percent. Now they are at 80 percent, and fully vaccinated has gone from 63 percent to 67 percent."
In addition, the uptake amongst the Indian community is also excellent, with 92 percent having had their first dose and 87 percent fully vaccinated.
Once the region reaches the 90 percent milestone for fully vaccinated Northlanders, everyone who has received two doses will automatically be in the draw to win a car, proudly supported by Mark Cromie Motor Group.
Jeanette says that the progress is the result of incredibly hard work by the Northland DHB team and their partners across the region.
"This is a huge Northland-wide effort by DHB staff, Māori Health Providers, iwi, general practice, pharmacies and many other organisations, working together to support our communities to be vaccinated. Everyone involved is putting in lots of long hours."
Northland DHB is asking locals and visitors to the region to be prepared for COVID-19 over the holiday period and to have a care plan in place. The care plan should outline what they would do if they test positive for the virus.
Further information and a readiness checklist can be found on the Unite Against COVID-19(external link) website.
Visitors to Northland who test positive will be asked to return to their usual residence if they can travel there safely. If they have taken public transport to Northland, they will need to remain in isolation in Northland for up to 10 days.
Anyone travelling with them is classified as a close contact and will also need to isolate for 7-10 days depending on their vaccination status.
"Our message for everyone, including visitors, is to make sure you are prepared before you come to Northland and get fully vaccinated, get prescriptions filled and bring any medical supplies you need with you.
"With COVID in Northland, we all need to display a COVID QR Poster at home or the bach, so we can trace you if you come into contact with an infected person, mask up, scan in everywhere you go and use your My Vaccine Pass.
"And above all, please, if you're not feeling well, stay home and call the COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if you need to have a test."
The total number of confirmed community cases in the October 2021 Northland outbreak is 94 with one additional case currently being transferred.