Aucklanders are the most likely people to get a vaccine, according to a new NZ Herald-Talbot Mills poll, with 88 per cent of Auckland respondents saying they had already had a jab or planned to get one.
The poll showed that by early October, 83 per cent of people nationwide had either received a vaccine or said they would "definitely" get a vaccine, up 5 points on September 2021. Another 8 per cent sad they would "probably" get a vaccine, taking the total of those who had received the vaccine or would definitely/probably get it to 91 per cent.
The number is also well up on June 2021 when just 59 per cent of people said they had either had or would have a vaccine. October is the first month the number of people who said they were erring towards getting a vaccine had topped 90 per cent.
The number of people saying they would "probably" get a vaccine has shrunk over the past month from 11 per cent in June to 8 per cent in October, as people make up their minds to get a vaccine.
There is a similar trend in the number of people who said they probably and definitely would not get a vaccine, which has fallen from 10 per cent in September to 7 per cent in October.
The poll was conducted between 28 September and 5th October. The polling period included the fallout from National and Act's plans to pivot away from the elimination strategy, followed by the Government's acknowledgement that it would pivot away from elimination.
It ended with the Government unveiling its plan for a vaccine passport.
The polling data shows a slight increase in the number of people who think that border restrictions should be relaxed as soon as everyone has had a reasonable chance of getting vaccinated from 26 per cent in September to 31 per cent in October.
But the vast majority of people still believe that border restrictions should only be relaxed once we have "very high (90 per cent plus) levels of vaccination", and when there is low risk that infections among non-vaccinated people would overwhelm the health system, with 62 per cent of people preferring this option, down just 2 points on last month.
The data comes ahead of a massive Government vaccination drive to get the last eligible New Zealanders vaccinated.
With more than half of the eligible population now fully vaccinated and more than 80 per cent having received one dose, Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins hopes the campaign will reach the remaining 20 per cent.
The campaign will culminate in a "National Day of Action for vaccination" on Saturday October 16. Hipkins said this will be "a bit like Election Day, we will be asking all our political and civic leaders to contribute to a big collective effort to turn people out".
People gave a number of reasons for not wanting to be vaccinated. The most common was a fear of side effects, or hearing bad things about the vaccine, which was selected by 25 per cent of people who did not want to be vaccinated, down 10 points from September.
This was followed by concerns about the amount of testing undergone by the vaccine, and fears that it was developed too quickly with 23 per cent of people selecting this option - up from 15 per cent the month before.
These responses only reflect the feelings of people who do not want to be vaccinated - a number that is constantly decreasing.
The poll sampled 1209 New Zealanders, 18 years of age and older and has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence level.