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An increasing number of primary school-aged children and younger are contracting Covid, as the total number of active cases in this country's Delta outbreak approaches 5000.
There are 4828 active cases of Covid in New Zealand - and 36 per cent of them are aged 19 or under.
Close to one in five - 18.5 per cent - of cases in the outbreak have been in children 9 years old or younger, up from 6.9 per cent at the start of September.*
On Monday alone 44 new cases were announced in under-9s.
In the current outbreak, 27 children under nine have ended up in hospital.
As the number of active cases grows, vaccination mandates are being brought in to cut the number of people who aren't protected against the virus.
Staff in the education, Corrections and healthcare sectors are already subject to vaccine mandates and the Government is making it easier for businesses to mandate vaccines as well.
But it's being accused of rushing through legislation around mandates ahead of the new traffic light system, which will come into effect around the end of the month.
The new rules will let businesses and groups mandate vaccines among their staff.
Yesterday Countdown announced it was mandating vaccines across all its supermarkets - all 21,000 staff have to be jabbed by January 10.
First Union retail organiser Ben Peterson told Newstalk ZB's Kate Hawkesby this morning fewer than 2 per cent of workers weren't yet vaccinated and the mandate was giving some of them the impetus to get it done.
Many were not anti-vax - they just hadn't got round to it yet. Some people needed specialist advice while others were happy to get vaccinated after, for example, getting surgery or finishing a course of medication.
For others it was a more complex conversation, Peterson said.
"People are going to make choices. As long as they're making them on the basis of good and real information, that's people's right."
Yesterday, the country recorded 215 Covid-19 cases in the community and one death.
While most cases were in Auckland, four were in Northland, 11 in Waikato, one in Bay of Plenty and two in the Lakes district.
A person in their 50s died after being admitted to hospital on November 17, bringing the total deaths to 41.
Of 88 people in hospital, only 19 per cent are fully vaccinated while 56 per cent are unvaccinated.
Ninety-one per cent of eligible people have received their first dose across New Zealand, and 84 per cent their second dose.
*CLARIFICATION: This article originally said 19.5 per cent of cases were in children aged 9 or under, up from 12.7 per cent at the start of September. Those percentages were for the entire pandemic, not the current Delta outbreak.