All New Zealanders aged 12 and over are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination.
The Whanganui District Health Board says the importance of vaccinating this younger age group is shown by the community outbreak of the Delta variant, which has infected a number of children and has put an 18-year-old in hospital in Auckland.
The new chair of the DHB's iwi partner Hauora-ā-Iwi, Shar Tapa-Mosen, said it was crucial to get trusted information to rangatahi to encourage them to get vaccinated.
"They're teenagers – their mode of communication is social media. They see and hear things on those platforms that aren't always right, so we need to get more education to them to counteract the misinformation.
"We just need to get that message out to them [to] get your vaccination – that's going to give you the best protection going forward.
"The virus in order to survive needs a host. It's going to go somewhere that isn't vaccinated. The younger population are the next target I guess, because they haven't been vaccinated."
Tapa-Mosen has replaced Mary Bennett as chair of Hauora-ā-Iwi, which works directly with Whanganui DHB.
The DHB says it is encouraged by the take-up of the vaccine by communities in Whanganui, South Ruapehu, Rangitīkei and South Taranaki.
It is one of the best performing DHBs in New Zealand, delivering doses well ahead of its original planned rate of vaccination.
The region should reach 50,000 vaccinations by the end of the week. The aim is to deliver two doses to just over 55,000 people over the age of 12.
Tapa-Mosen said uptake by Māori had improved and was expected to climb sharply.
"The statistics coming back are looking positive in terms of more vaccinations, as you would expect because as soon as Delta hit people were booking in to have their vaccinations.
"Māori listened and they stayed home and stayed safe. The point with the vaccines is to get as many vaccinated as possible going forward now so that it reduces that risk that it is spread into other areas regionally.
"At the end of the day it is a choice. Vaccinations are not mandatory in New Zealand, but for us, to protect our whakapapa, do go and get the vaccination," Tapa-Mosen said.
The DHB says vaccine supply has been consistent, with only one late delivery and one clinic in Raetihi running out because of a booking error.
The DHB aims to continue vaccinating at the current high rate while remaining conscious of the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's comments about the need to ensure sufficient supply from Pfizer.
It says there are efforts at a national level to get more vaccine into the country in the coming weeks, but local vaccination teams are prepared to drop back to their planned number of vaccinations if necessary.