Latest news on the COVID-19 epidemic on Monday, January 3

1:17 p.m. – Declaration of the Ministry of Health

Almost 4,500 recalls were administered yesterday (4,494), a jump of over 1,500 the day before.

This increase serves as a timely reminder that from tomorrow (Wednesday, January 5), the interval between the second doses and the boosters goes from six months to four months.

This means that anyone aged 18 and over who received their second vaccination at least four months ago can receive their booster dose.

COVID-19 tests have also increased in the past 24 hours, with around 1,000 more tests administered than the day before.

Omicron update

We are now declaring 29 cases identified at the border. Pending full genome sequencing of these cases, some of these cases are expected to be the Omicron variant.

This variant of COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact globally, so it’s no surprise to see an increase in cases identified at the border.

COVID-19 vaccine update

  • Vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible persons): 3,975,528 first doses (94%); 3,856,703 second doses (92%); 29,226 third primary doses; 333,820 recalls
  • Vaccines administered yesterday: 363 first doses; 1306 seconds; 25 third primary doses and 4,494 booster doses.
  • Maori (percentage of eligible people): 500,643 first doses (88%); 462,192 second doses (81%)
  • Peoples of the Pacific (percentage of those eligible): 271,432 first doses (95%); 259,464 second doses (91%)

DHB vaccination rate with active cases (percentage of eligible people)

  • Northland DHB: first doses (89%); second doses (84%)
  • Auckland Metro DHB: first doses (96%); second doses (94%)
  • Waikato DHB: first doses (94%); second doses (90%)
  • Bay of Plenty DHB: first doses (93%); second doses (90%)
  • DHB lakes: first doses (92%); second doses (88%)
  • Taranaki DHB: first doses (93%); second doses (89%)
  • Tairāwhiti DHB: first doses (91%); second doses (86%)
  • Hawke’s Bay DHB: first doses (95%); second dose (91%)
  • Canterbury DHB: first doses (98%); second doses (95%)


Hospital cases: 53; North Shore: 9; Auckland: 16; Middlemore: 22; Tauranga: 5 Rotorua: 1

Vaccination status of current hospitalizations (services in the North region only): Not vaccinated or not eligible (20 cases / 46.5%); partially immune less than 7 days after the second dose or having received only one dose (8 cases / 18.6%); fully vaccinated at least 7 days before being reported as a case (14 cases / 32.6%); 1 unknown (2.3%).

Average age of current hospitalizations: 53 years

ICU or HDU cases: 6 (3 in Middlemore; 3 in Tauranga)


  • Seven-day moving average of community cases: 43.4
  • Number of new community cases: 31
  • Number of new cases identified at the border: 29
  • Location of new community cases: Auckland (14), Waikato (1), Bay of Plenty (12), Lakes (4)
  • Number of community cases (total): 10,985 (in current community outbreak)
  • Epidemiologically related cases (total): 8,268
  • Number of active cases (total): 1,143 (cases identified in the last 21 days and not yet classified as cured)
  • Confirmed cases (total): 13,992


  • Number of active contacts managed (total): 5,426
  • Percentage of people who received an outgoing call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements): 83%
  • Percentage that returned at least one result: 78%


  • Total number of tests (last 24 hours): 8,661
  • Running average of tests (last 7 days): 11,148
  • Auckland tests total (last 24 hours): 3,956


No unexpected detection

1:07 p.m. – The Ministry of Health reports a third case linked to the border with the Omicron variant.

The case is a family contact of the Air New Zealand crew member who tested positive last week with the Omicron variant.

Family contact was isolated during its symptomatic period. Public health staff continue to investigate, but at this point there are no places of interest or exhibition events.

Family contact has now been transferred to an MIQ facility. The second family contact, which is also isolated, continues to be negative.

The case is fully vaccinated.

1:00 p.m. – There are 31 new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Tuesday. Fifty-three people are hospitalized, sic in intensive care and there are 29 cases at the border that are being tested to see if they are Omicron.

12:40 – Another new variant of COVID-19 with dozens of mutations has been discovered, this time in France.

The IHU, as it has been dubbed, has the N501Y mutation also found in Alpha, Beta, Omicron, and Gamma variants, which makes it more contagious, and the E484K mutation found in Gamma and Beta, which helps the virus escape. to people’s immunity, as well as many other changes.

It was found in around ten patients living in Forcalquier, in the south of France. The index case was a man who had recently traveled to Cameroon, southern Africa, which – like much of the region – has incredibly low vaccine coverage, which facilitates the emergence of variants.

Read the full story here

12:20 – New South Wales continues to see the number of cases soar with another 23,131 confirmed cases in the state on Tuesday. Two more deaths from COVID-19 have also been reported along with a record 1,344 people hospitalized.

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