The Lakes District Health Board area is not projected to hit 90 per cent full vaccination until mid-January - but there's an "urgent" push to hit the first dose target before Christmas.
It comes as Delta cases continue to rise in the community, with one additional case announced in the Lakes area yesterday, bringing the total active cases to 26.
Of the District Health Board (DHB) region's 62 suburbs, 16 have so far reached the 90 per cent target for first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the eligible population.
All suburbs are over 70 per cent first dose vaccinated but three suburbs are still under 60 per cent fully vaccinated.
Eighty-seven per cent of the DHB's eligible population have received one dose, while 77 per cent were fully vaccinated, as of November 25.
The board needed to administer 2596 first doses and 11,915 second doses to reach the 90 per cent target.
Victoria, Springfield, Rotorua Central, Fenton Park, Lynmore, Hamurana, Pomare and Glenholme South are among the suburbs in Rotorua that are more than 90 per cent first dose vaccinated and therefore on track to reach the same target for full vaccination before Christmas.
Lynmore, Springfield North and Victoria are also in the top five fully vaccinated Lakes suburbs. Lynmore and Springfield North are both just over 88 per cent fully vaccinated and Victoria is 86.8 per cent fully vaccinated.
Vaccination rates are lowest in Ngapuna, Fordlands and Golden Springs, where less than 60 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated.
Golden Springs in Reporoa has the lowest vaccination rate in the DHB area with only 50.8 per cent of eligible residents having received their second jabs.
Rotorua suburb Fordlands has also struggled with vaccination rates and was sitting at 57.8 per cent fully vaccinated, with 74.1 per cent having had a first dose.
According to estimates by the Ministry of Health, Fordlands has an eligible population of 1869.
Fordlands Community Centre has been holding vaccination events, offering hāngī, food parcels and entertainment to encourage people to get the jab.
Centre manager Ana Okeroa Phillips said the first vaccination clinic was organised by committee member Nancy Littler, a nurse at Rotorua Hospital.
"She was very concerned for our community due to the fact that there is not easily accessible medical care," Phillips said.
The wellbeing of the community was at the forefront of everything Phillips and her team do.
"Our staff are fully committed to encouraging our community to be vaccinated. We regularly advertise the locations of vaccination clinics on our Facebook page."
Fordlands Community Centre will hold another vaccination event tomorrow with support from Te Puni Kokiri.
Federated Farmers Rotorua/Taupo provincial president Colin Guyton, who is from Reporoa, said the traffic light system and vaccine passes would encourage young people to get vaccinated.
In his view, young people were not motivated to get vaccinated as they tended to be "reasonably healthy" and did not see it as urgent.
Another issue with people getting vaccinated in Reporoa was the distance to Rotorua and Taupō, he said.
"The dairy industry in Reporoa - quite a big dairy farming area, [and] a lot of young people work on farms - they work quite long hours [and] they don't get access to go into town as often.
"Some of them may be a bit concerned about getting a jab, having a side effect and not being able to go to work the next day."
Guyton said the low vaccination rate was "a concern" and the community needed to "do a bit of work" around it.
A Lakes DHB spokeswoman said the board's aim was to reach the 90 per cent target for first doses before Christmas and it was doing everything it could to make vaccination easy and accessible.
Based on current numbers it was predicting it would hit 90 per cent fully vaccinated by mid-January.
The data showed there had been "a big improvement" in vaccination rates since Covid cases emerged in Taupō, Rotorua and Tūrangi, the spokeswoman said.
With Covid in the area, the need to get vaccinated was "really urgent", as the full benefit of the vaccine was not gained until two weeks after the second dose.
Those eligible and waiting for the AstraZeneca vaccine - an alternative to the main Pfizer vaccine - could get it at the Rotorua and Taupō immunisation hubs by making a booking on the Book My Vaccine website.
"It's urgent now for people who are not yet vaccinated but who want to participate in activities like concerts, restaurants, gyms etc. to get vaccinated."
The data showing that more affluent areas had higher vaccination rates had remained constant during the vaccination programme.
"It is not a surprise that those who have access to transport and do not have daily struggles with housing and food sustainability are able to focus on their health and wellbeing and make sure their families are vaccinated."
There were ongoing outreach vaccination clinics in Fordlands, various businesses, marae and in rural areas around Taupō.
A new campaign for youth, Vax Vegas, had been launched which would focus on messages and incentives for young people.
"As our population has a high number of young Māori and younger people were the last to be eligible in the vaccine rollout, one of the focus areas is young people across the district."
Rotorua deputy mayor Dave Donaldson said vaccinated people should do what they could to encourage others to get the vaccine.
"We do not want to get stuck in red when the new traffic lights system kicks in – that will be to the detriment of our wellbeing as well as our economy," he said.
"So, we absolutely have to do whatever we can to get our vaccination rates up to enable us to have the freedoms we want and need and to ensure as few restrictions as possible for businesses and events."
Donaldson said it was encouraging to see from the data that the majority of people were at least on the way to being fully vaccinated.
"The data will also help the DHB and others working hard to increase our vaccination rates to identify the hard-to-reach who they need to focus on."
University of Canterbury professor and Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank said suburbs with low vaccination rates would have more people affected by the introduction of vaccine passes.
Unvaccinated people would not be able to access many non-essential services such as bars, gyms and restaurants, he said.
90% one-dose suburbs
Brentwood (Taupo District)
Source: Ministry of Health