Covid-19: 15 deaths, 16-17 year olds now eligible for boosters

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield has reported 12,575 new community cases of Covid-19 today, along with 15 Covid-19 related deaths.

Six of those who died over the past four weeks were women and nine were men.  Two were in their 60s, two in their 70s, four in their 80s and seven people were over 90. Three of these were from the Auckland region, five in Waikato and one each in Taranaki, Whanganui, Mid Central, Nelson-Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury and South Canterbury DHBs.

The Ministry of Health says it's encouraging to see numbers in cases continue to decline. Compared with last Wednesday's seven-day rolling average of 14,969, today's is 12,307.

Of the new community cases today, there are 619 in Northland, 2,147 in Auckland, 1,101 in Waikato, 604 in Bay of Plenty, 229 in Lakes, 602 in Hawke's Bay, 678 in Mid Central, 321 in Whanganui, 437 in Taranaki, 128 in Tai Rāwhiti, 149 in Wairarapa, 775 in Capital and Coast, 464 in Hutt Valley, 436 in Nelson-Marlborough, 2,108 in Canterbury, 249 in South Canterbury, 1,368 in Southern and 81 in West Coast DHBs. Just nine cases are of unknown location.

Some 43 cases were also detected at the border, and the active case total is now at 86,122 

Hospitalisations continue to fall, with 654 people with Covid-19 receiving hospital-level care. Of these, 25 are in Northland, 100 in Waitematā, 124 in Counties Manukau, 94 in Auckland, 57 in Waikato, 36 in Bay of Plenty, 12 in Lakes, four in Tairāwhiti, 25 in Hawke's Bay, 15 in Taranaki, eight in Whanganui, 18 in Mid Central, 15 in Hutt Valley, 15 in Capital & Coast, two in Wairarapa, 13 in Nelson-Marlborough, 57 in Canterbury, eight in South Canterbury, two in West Coast and 24 in Southern hospitals. Some 23 people are in intensive care units, a decrease of seven from yesterday.

There were also 81 first doses, 182 second doses, 27 third primary doses, 1,621 booster doses, 88 paediatric first doses and 1,243 paediatric second doses administered yesterday.

Boosters now available for 16 to 17-year-olds

From tomorrow, those aged 16 and 17 are now eligible for a free booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months after completing their primary course, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said at today's 1pm standup.

This follows Medsafe’s provisional approval of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) as a booster dose for this age group.