There are around 30,000 people aged 65-plus in the Wellington Region who have not yet received their Covid-19 vaccine, as the rollout moves into its next phase this week.
Yesterday marked the beginning of the vaccine rollout for group 4, with the first age band – people aged 60 years and over – now able to book a Covid-19 vaccine.
Covid-19 Vaccination Programme operations group manager Astrid Koornneef said there were still a number of people unvaccinated from group 3, although these people had been advised they were eligible.
"In the Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHB areas, there are around 30,000 people aged 65-plus who are yet to book or receive their Covid-19 vaccine," he said.
"These people have received a letter or email from their DHBs asking them to book, or text message reminder from the national system."
This was larger than the number of people that had been vaccinated in group 3, as at earlier this week.
"The Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs advise that as at July 26, around 29,000 in group 3 in those DHB areas have been vaccinated," Koornneef said.
She said there were approximately 17,000 people aged 60 to 64 who were now eligible to book their vaccination as part of group 4. This number excluded 9000 people who had already been vaccinated in this age group, or who already had a booking.
Koornneef said if people in this category had provided their correct details with their National Health Index (NHI), they should receive a letter, text message and/or email directing them to book a Covid-19 vaccination online or to call 0800 28 29 26
Family and friends were also able to make bookings on a person's behalf.
The ministry had established a specialist call centre to manage the influx of calls expected when group 4 bookings opened.
"Group 4 is by far our largest group, with more than two million people, so it will take time to get through everybody, and people will need to be patient."
It comes after some Wellingtonians in group 3 had difficulty booking their vaccine last week, through the 0800 number provided by the Ministry of Health.
Several people reported on social media calling the number, only to be told the Healthline did not work for the Wellington Region, or Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs were not booking appointments.
The error was soon rectified, with callers phoned back to book appointments and CCDHB apologising for the incorrect information provided.
Vaccination data provided earlier this month also showed CCDHB to have the second lowest vaccination rate per capita in New Zealand.
The ministry planned for the next age band of group 4 – those aged 55 to 59 – to be eligible to book in a fortnight, on August 11.
According to Ministry of Health projections, invitations would open up to people over 45 years of age from mid – late August, and for people aged 35-plus from mid – late September.
The rest of the population will be eligible from October.