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Set for Group 4 vaccine roll-out

Age band vaccinations from July 28.

Tairawhiti residents who do not qualify for priority Covid-19 vaccinations can book their vaccinations from July 28.

That is the date of the national roll-out of those people in Group 4 — the group consisting of all New Zealanders who have not previously qualified (front-line workers, aged 65 and older, those with long-term medical conditions, retirement home residents, pregnant, disabled) to be vaccinated.

Hauora Tairawhiti vaccine spokeswoman Dianne Akurangi confirmed the national roll-out date would apply to Gisborne.

Group 4 vaccinations will be done in age bands.

The first band is people aged 60 years and over who will be able to book their vaccinations from July 28.

The next band is people aged 55 and over, with their bookings opening on August 11.

Depending on vaccine supply and progress with other age groups, invitations will open up to people over 45 years from mid-to-late August, mid-to-late September for people 35-plus, with everyone else eligible from October.

Once a person becomes eligible for vaccination, they can be vaccinated at any time.

There is no cut-off.

Two million people are in Group 4.

Ms Akurangi said the public would be able to ring two 0800 numbers to book a vaccine.

People will be notified by social media platforms (Facebook/Instagram), radio stations, text message, billboards, The Gisborne Herald and promotions through community events.

The Gisborne Herald asked about reported instances of people being invited by text to get vaccinated despite not qualifying for priority vaccination.

Ms Akurangi said whanau might not know who was eligible. These text messages were generated through information supplied by general practices identifying people on their practice registers who were eligible as members of Group 3.

Up to July 20, a total of 15,193 vaccine doses had been given in Tairawhiti — 8768 first doses and 6425 second does.

Ms Akurangi said the vaccine roll-out was progressing well in Tairawhiti but there was always room for improvement.

AP file picture