Watch: Covid-19 Response and Vaccination Update from the Ministry of Health

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Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Andrew Old, provides an update on New Zealand’s Covid-19 response.

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Old is joined by Dr. Anthony Jordan, Clinical Director of the Northern Region Vaccination Program, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.

An update on vaccinations is expected to be part of today’s briefing, which will be held in central Auckland.

A coroner’s investigation into the death of Dunedin man Rory Nairn from myocarditis this week found the illness was caused by a rare reaction to Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

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During the Ministry of Health’s previous media update on the Covid-19 response on Sept. 7, Old said the number of cases was declining in the community.

The death toll of people with Covid-19 also fell, he said.

Since then, the government has scrapped the Covid-19 protection framework – also known as the ‘traffic light’ system – along with many of the public health restrictions in place as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

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Masks are now only required to be worn in health and aged care settings, government vaccine mandates end on September 26, and all Covid-19 vaccine requirements have been removed for inbound travelers and flight crews.

People who test positive for Covid-19 will still be required to self-isolate for seven days, but the requirement to isolate their household contacts has been removed, provided they undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT) every day of their household contact isolation period.

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All New Zealanders aged 65 or over and Māori and Pacific people aged 50 or over are now eligible for automatic access to Covid-19 antivirals if they test positive for Covid-19.

The Department of Health has also moved from daily to weekly reporting of case numbers, with the first of the new weekly reports on Monday showing a sustained decline in the seven-day moving average of cases.

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