One of Auckland's three district health boards has only 71 per cent of its population fully vaccinated, meaning the region's move into the new Covid-19 traffic light system announced today could still be some time away.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Auckland would move to the red setting of the Covid-19 Protection Framework as soon as each of its DHBs had at least 90 per cent of the population fully vaccinated against the virus.
Ministry of Health data released today shows that to hit 90 per cent of first doses across the three DHBS another 18,032 people need to be vaccinated while another 225,836 second doses were needed to get to 90 per cent.
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has previously said about 5 per cent of those who got their first dose did not go back for a second.
Vaccination rates across the three parts of Auckland vary widely, with the highest rates in Auckland DHB and the lowest in Counties Manukau DHB.
In the Auckland DHB area, 93 per cent of the population have had their first vaccine and 79 per cent have received their second dose, according to Ministry of Health data released today.
Based on that data, another 48,544 second doses are needed in the Auckland DHB area to hit the 90 per cent target.
In the Waitematā DHB area, 90 per cent of the population have had their first vaccine, and 74 per cent their second.
That means another 2082 people needed to get the first dose and another 85,607 second doses were needed to hit the target.
In the Counties Manukau area, between 87 per cent of the population have had their first vaccine, and 71 per cent have received their second dose.
To reach 90 per cent of first doses in Counties Manukau another 15,950 people needed to get their vaccination while another 91,685 second doses are required to hit the fully vaccinated target.
Red is for when the virus is spreading in a way that threatens the most vulnerable and could overwhelm the health system.
Education will be open but with public health measures, masks will be needed and there will be caps and physical distancing requirements.
At the red level someone without a vaccine certificate cannot dine at a restaurant, attend a gathering of more than 10 people or go to the gym.
Auckland will move into red when each of its three DHBs hit the 90 per cent target.
"You are so close. Right now you're just 16,000 vaccines away from every DHB hitting 90 per cent for first doses," Ardern said.
The rest of the country will move to orange when every other DHB hits the 90 per cent target.
Orange means no limits if vaccine certificates are used for hospitality, gatherings and events.
Limits will apply if no vaccine certificates are used.
Green will have limits if no vaccine certificates are used for hospitality, gatherings and events.
"It is quite simple: if you are a business that chooses to use vaccine certificates, you will get to operate at every level," Ardern said.
She said broadly the vaccine certificate system was mainly targeted at hospitality and event businesses.
She said the settings would be reviewed on November 29, and the South Island could move into the new system if all those DHBs have already hit the 90 per cent target.
The high levels of protection will limit the impact that the virus can have.
Ardern said the new framework was about being able to live our lives as safely as possible.
The alert level system could still be used if it was needed again, but a new playbook was needed in the context of vaccines - and that's what the traffic light system is.
"I have no doubt we will do what it takes once again, and move forward safely together."