Tue, 30 Nov 2021

WELLINGTON, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand has launched a nationwide rally on Saturday to vaccinate as many people as possible against COVID-19.

The vaccination rally, named the Super Saturday, aims to vaccinate at least 100,000 doses on Saturday and push for a 90-percent vaccination milestone.

Vaccine clinics including mobile facilities, community vaccine centers, family doctors and pharmacies are opening across the country throughout the day.

In Auckland, 300 pre-booked people are having their vaccination on board an Air New Zealand Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet. Live music, food and beverage, and event tickets are offered across the nation to those who are vaccinated on Saturday.

Free transport services, medical services and translation services are offered for easier vaccination access. Celebrities, pop singers and politicians also joined the rally to encourage more people to be vaccinated.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield are campaigning across the capital Wellington region and joining the drive to get people vaccinated.

According the official statistics from the Ministry of Health, up until Oct. 14, 83 percent of the New Zealand population over the age of 12 have taken first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 62 percent of the eligible population have been fully vaccinated.

On Saturday, the country reported 41 new community cases of COVID-19, pushing the total case number in the recent Delta variant COVID-19 community outbreak to 1,895.

Double-digit daily case number makes it almost impossible to eliminate the COVID-19 cases in New Zealand. Prime Minister Ardern admitted that the outbreak in Auckland has grown at a pace beyond expectation.

Health departments are working on contingent plans such as home isolation and additional ICU beds to cope with potential surge in the case numbers.

The New Zealand government is working on a traffic light system incorporating vaccination certificates into a framework of restrictions to replace the current COVID-19 Alert Level system. Vaccination rate is one of the key parameter behind the new system.

The country is aimed to vaccinate 90 percent of the eligible population.

The government is expected to announce the new COVID-19 restriction system settings next week.

New Zealand's largest city Auckland is at COVID-19 Alert Level Three restrictions. Gatherings are limited to 10 people. The Northland region and part of the Waikato region in North Island are also at Level Three due to community cases. The rest of the country is at Alert Level Two restrictions with indoor activities limited to 100 people.

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