China’s new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases have risen to a near three-month high, prompting stricter controls in the capital Beijing ahead of a major meeting of the Communist Party’s highest-ranking members next week.
On Wednesday, the National Health Commission reported 93 new local symptomatic cases for Nov. 2, up from 54 the day before and the largest daily tally since Aug. 9 during China’s last significant outbreak.
Beijing reported nine new local illnesses in one day, the city’s highest one-day spike this year.
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Hipkins said the new doses are scheduled for delivery throughout the next year, to cover the possible extension of eligibility to adolescents and potential booster shots.
Hipkins said New Zealand was also committed to supplying doses throughout the Pacific.
He said people who get their first dose now can still be fully vaccinated before Christmas.
Five DHBs have already hit the 90 percent first doses milestone, with Waitematā on 91 percent; Auckland on 94 percent; Capital and Coast on 92 percent; Canterbury on 92 percent and Southern on 90 percent.
Counties-Manukau, Nelson-Marlborough, Waikato, South Canterbury and MidCentral are all getting close also.
Across the country 88 percent of people aged 12 and over have had at least one dose, 66 percent are fully vaccinated and nearly 7m doses have been delivered.
Some 96 percent of 65+ age group has had at least one dose, and 92 percent are fully vaccinated.
There were 28,921 vaccines administered yesterday, including 7574 first doses and 21,347 second doses.
Children and boosters
An application is expected from Pfizer on use of the vaccine in 5-11 year olds in the next couple of weeks, Dr Bloomfield said.
“So far it’s just the USFDA that has authorised for emergency use the vaccine for 5-11 year olds. At this point no other countries have approved Pfizer for 5-11 year olds as of this week.”
He said it will be offered in 2022 once it has been approved.
Dr Bloomfield said Medsafe was looking at the data around booster shots and a technical advisory group was hoping to finalise its advice in the next day.
He said there was only one randomised control trial of it so far, but it showed a good response in helping lift people’s immunity in reducing hospitalisations and serious illness.
He said the median time in the study was 11 months between the second and third dose, and no one in New Zealand has reached that yet.
Hipkins said there will be a minimum period of time between the third and second dose.
Hipkins also pointed out that it will be three weeks on Saturday since the super Saturday event, which means those people who were vaccinated then can get their second dose. People in Auckland can head to Eden Park to get their vaccine there.
Hipkins said genomic sequencing will help contact tracers, but the mystery cases have not been to any locations of interest or met with people known to have the virus.
Meanwhile, Waikato today woke up to eased restrictions – it’s now in alert level 3 step 2.