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Vaccine stocks running low across New Zealand

June 11, 2021 6:39 am

New Zealand stocks of the COVID-19 vaccine are running low, and overachieving health boards have been instructed to slow down the rate they are injecting people.

Several people have contacted the Otago Daily Times to say that they have been told that the South had low stocks of vaccine.

One person was told that they could not book an elderly relative in for a shot as there was no vaccine available, while another person was told they could not book in for their second jab as there was no vaccine available.

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The week ending June 6 New Zealand had 189,660 doses of vaccine available for distribution, down from 288,000 the previous week and 327,240 the week before that.

A senior clinician, speaking anonymously, told the ODT that vaccine supplies were low across New Zealand.

“People giving out vaccines have been told to cut right back because there is not enough vaccine for the country to continue at the current rate.

“There is not much transparency from the Ministry of Health regarding vaccine availability.”

Last week Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming told a board meeting the region’s vaccination efforts could go faster but would need to slow down due to supply issues.

Latest health ministry statistics show the board was 10 per cent ahead of plan for how many doses it was expected to have administered by now, and as a whole the country was also 10 per cent ahead of expectation.

On Tuesday Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, who has previously said that July would be a “bumpy” month with concerns over vaccine supply, announced an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine would arrive in New Zealand next month.

A spokeswoman for the minister said she was not aware of a blanket instruction to DHBs to slow vaccination rates.

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