Wellington Scoop

Worries for over-65s as they wait for advice about covid vaccinations

Report from RNZ
There is some frustration and worry amongst over-65s in Wellington as they wait to be called up for their Covid-19 vaccine.

Capital and Coast DHB said it is ahead of schedule with its overall vaccine roll-out. But only a fraction of the over-65s group have received it.

RNZ has been inundated with messages from people in Category 3 – which is mostly made up of over-65s – who are waiting to hear when they will be vaccinated.

Marie, 74, from Karori was one of them – she recently had pneumonia. She said her community was on anxious stand-by. “I know that other older people in my community are a bit concerned about when it’s going to happen for them.”

Capital and Coast DHB said it was 20 percent ahead of its vaccine roll-out plan across all eligible categories, but that was small comfort to Marie.

Further clarification on when she will get her injections would give her and her age group peace of mind, she said. “Maybe I could have had a message a little bit sooner to say ‘this is what you need to expect’.”

Another Wellington resident was worried for her elderly parents.

“My frustration is with the DHB, rather than the government response. It seems other regions are more advanced. I’m worried about my parents not being vaccinated when a lot of younger people are. I’m also about to go to Australia to visit my daughter and booked tickets thinking I’d have had at least one jab by now, so I’m a bit concerned about travelling.”

A Tawa resident in her 70s said many people she knows in their 90s were struggling to find out when or where they will be vaccinated.

“I’m concerned for quite a lot of people I know in their 90s who have not had any contact. A 93-year-old I know told me she tried to register online but has had no feedback or response.

“The medical practices in Tawa don’t seem big enough. The nearest centre is Porirua and my thinking is that they are a higher risk community, so it makes sense they are prioritised. I’m not panicking but we would like some understanding of when it’s going to be.”

The Capital and Coast DHB figures show that just over 4 percent of Group 3 – the group predominantly made up of over 65s – have had their first and second vaccine jab.

It said it was taking a staggered approach and aimed to be in touch with the 200,000 people in this group by the end of July.

The Ministry of Health does not have data for other DHBs broken down by groups one, two and three but its cumulative data across all eligible groups show most DHBs are ahead of schedule.


  1. Cecilia Lesslie, 21. June 2021, 5:59

    Hutt DHB are the same. No communication from them. I am 78 and have health issues. My friend is 87. We have had no word despite my emailing the Covid health line.

  2. Ray Chung, 21. June 2021, 20:18

    Is this communication/delay a problem with the DHB or the government? We keep hearing that the DHBs are exceeding their target for vaccinations but they won’t tell us what these targets are. There’s a reason why New Zealand is 122nd on the list of vaccines given per head of population. Yes, we’re the worst country in the OECD for vaccinating residents. So is this the fault of the government or the DHBs?

  3. michael, 21. June 2021, 20:53

    While the over 65s and those with health issues all have to wait, the 40 year old PM has had her vaccination!

  4. Peter B, 22. June 2021, 8:06

    I can confirm that the over 65s with health issues have not been contacted in Wellington. The Government should be insisting that all people travelling overseas are vaccinated and on a similar basis all individuals coming into New Zealand. Leadership is required by the Government.

  5. D'Esterre, 22. June 2021, 11:54

    Ray, the reason NZ is at the bottom of the OECD list looks to be a supply issue. There aren’t sufficient stocks coming into the country. Doubtless this is because NZ has been trumpeted as a haven from coronavirus, so the vaccine suppliers are directing their stocks to countries which have had – and continue to have – many cases.

  6. Casey, 22. June 2021, 12:43

    The entire exercise seems poorly managed. I had my first dose of the vaccine 10 June and was meant to get the second one on 1 July. I was informed this morning that it will not be done until 28 July. To be effective, and as I read it, the period between the two doses is critical with Pfizer Comirnaty, so rather a waste of everyone’s time and taxpayers’ money it seems. Are we elderly considered ripe for experimentation ?

  7. Ray Chung, 22. June 2021, 17:29

    If we’re short of vaccine, why are we giving it away to other countries before New Zealanders have had it? A friend had his first vaccine at the Karori Medical Centre on the first week this month and was scheduled to have his second booster within the three week period but now he’s been told that he won’t have his second shot until late July and by then the gap between the two shots is too long so his “second” shot in late July will have to be his “first” and he’ll have to have another shot, his third within three weeks of that one. Does any of this make sense? My Medical Centre, the Onslow Medical Centre, has advised me they won’t receive any vaccines before 21st August but they’re unable to confirm whether they’ll be dispensing it or not. I remember Ardern/Bloomfield saying they were in early placing an order with Pfizer so we’d all be inoculated early. Was that PR spin?

  8. TrevorH, 22. June 2021, 18:07

    Ray, I believe we are “first in the queue”, so no need to be concerned then. We must trust the Prime Minister. The fact that we have the slowest rollout in the OECD and are 99th globally simply reflects how many countries there are in the world.

  9. 2Tapu, 23. June 2021, 22:36

    Mum is 77. Her Newtown Medical Centre hasn’t contacted her yet to have a Covid vaccination. Is this normal? [via twitter]

  10. Marion Leader, 24. June 2021, 6:55

    2Tapu, yes this is normal. Last month the government was spending a lot of money advertising that people over 65 were in Group 3 and would be contacted beginning before the end of June if they had health conditions. Now all these people are lumped in with the over-60s who are due to be contacted beginning July 28th.

  11. Robert Grinling, 25. June 2021, 9:34

    We are 77 years old and in a retirement village. No communication from the DHB or medical centre. Our group were supposed to have had the jab in May and now it’s July! Because both doses are to be spread by 14 days, I wonder how the Government is going to give group 3 both doses before giving the over 55’s theirs on the 11th August. If we look at the past experience, I doubt it will happen.

  12. Susan, 11. July 2021, 18:35

    The worst thing is that I am hearing reports from all over the country – Invercargill, Whangarei, Taupo – where young and healthy people have received the vaccination: one or both, and my mother – 80 and has COPD – is being asked by her Miramar medical centre NOT to contact them because they know NOTHING.
    What is going on?