A hotline that hopes to help people in group 3 book vaccination appointments opens today — less than a week before health authorities begin vaccinating group 4.
Group 3 covers people who are at risk of getting very sick from Covid-19, including people aged over 65 and those with relevant underlying health conditions.
An RNZ analysis of vaccination data and population estimates yesterday showed only 12 per cent of this group, or about 180,000 people, had been fully inoculated - and only one in five had got their first jab.
More than 2 million doses still needed to be given to those aged over 65 or with underlying health conditions.
National director of the Covid-19 vaccine and immunisation programme Jo Gibbs said those in group 3 that hadn't been invited to be vaccinated could book their jab today by calling 0800 28 29 26.
"We do recognise though that there are some people who haven't yet heard from us, and there are a number of reasons for this," she said.
"If you're not enrolled with a health provider or have not updated your contact details, or have outdated patient records, then we may not have been able to contact you."
Next Wednesday, the first band of group 4 - people aged 60 and over - would be invited to book their vaccination.
Vaccinations of group 4 - which covers the general population - would be staggered in age bands, with the next cohort, those aged 55 and over, starting on August 11.
Gibbs said DHBs had made good progress sending out invitations to people in group 3, including by contacting people by email, text, phone call or by post.
The ministry expected to speak to more than 2.5 million Kiwis via the Covid Vaccination Heathline by Christmas.
More than 1300 advisors had been recruited to take calls and would be accompanied by paramedics and nurses who could answer clinical questions.
Translation services for more than 150 languages would also be available, she said.
"We want everyone in group 3 to have an opportunity to book their vaccine appointment before we open bookings to the 60-plus age band on July 28," she says.
The online vaccination booking tool, Book My Vaccine, would also be available from that date, she said.