Hawke's Bay District Health Board says it expects to "catch-up" on vaccine numbers in coming weeks, as figures show it is currently the second worst in the country at meeting its Covid-19 vaccine targets.
As of Sunday, May 16, Hawke's Bay DHB was 2648 Covid-19 vaccinations behind where it wanted to be.
It had completed 12,429 vaccinations with an aim to complete 15,077, slightly above Northland DHB which was at 79 per cent of planned vaccination.
But University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker says variation between DHBs can be expected and he is not concerned about vaccinations falling behind, saying the critical thing has been vaccinating border workers.
He said it was desirable to vaccinate healthcare workers quickly but once the border workers were vaccinated New Zealand could afford "a bit of variability with how DHBs were doing", as some were ahead of target and some behind.
"I don't think that it is a huge concern that there is some variability, in a way you expect that."
As Covid-19 is not circulating in New Zealand like it is in other countries, while it is desirable to get through group two as fast as possible, there are no negative consequences of people not yet being vaccinated, Baker said.
"The consequences of having some DHBs that are ahead and some that are behind is not major, it's not endangering public health and people are not getting sick and dying as a result, which is the fundamental difference in New Zealand.
"I think in some ways it's an administrative issue that ideally you want to be shifting resources around the country to make sure that all DHBs are tracking reasonably well but in general there aren't negative consequences.
A HBDHB spokeswoman said the DHB "expects to catch-up on vaccine numbers in the coming weeks" as part of the group three rollout – everyone over 65 and those with relevant underlying conditions.
It has "pretty much completed" the rollout to group two.
"There were less people in this group [two] than initially thought, as some workforces used their own occupational health teams to vaccinate, which has meant the numbers were down on predictions."
She said the DHB does not have an issue with vaccine supply.
A campaign inviting people from group three will begin next week and details of the super clinics will be advised as part of this.
The DHB does not have data on individual people who have declined the vaccine as the rollout is ongoing.
Baker said the target to get the general population vaccinated this year is "very reasonable".