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Ed Sheeran

Taihoa on COVID vaccinations to match supply
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Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says health provides have been asked to slow down their vaccination programmes so they don’t get ahead of the supply of vaccine coming into the country.

He says he has met with Māori providers to explain the supply problem, which is expected to ease from July.

He rejected the suggestion that the Maori programme wasn’t being given enough priority, but says there is still a problem getting people to come forward.

"In places like Taitokerau Māori vaccination numbers are extremely high and positive. There are other pockets of the country not so. There are challenges, I'm not going to shy away from that. Equity of course has been a key drive in this which is why we ringfenced money for our Māori providers to do the vaccinations, but the fact is you can't vaccinate people if you don't have supply," Mr Henare says.

He’s satisfied with the numbers of kuia and kaumatua who have already been vaccinated, but not with the number of Māori with co-morbidities who are also eligible for early jabs.

Meanwhile, quarantine free travel with Australia has been suspended until the end of Tuesday.

Over the past week, there have been 89 new cases in four states and the Northern Territory, with New South Wales the worst affected and Sydney and Darwin back in lockdown.

The level two alert in Wellington has also been extended another two days while contract tracing continues for an Australian traveller who visited Wellington the previous weekend.

His partner has now tested positive for COVID-19, and it's likely she was infected that weekend or on the plane back.

Genomic sequencing has determined the man has the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, but so far no linked cases have been detected here.

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