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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health


An independent peer review of the Health Service User (HSU) dataset that’s used to calculate COVID-19 vaccination rates has found it’s an appropriate way to measure vaccination coverage.

Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health commissioned Stats NZ to look at the methodology of the HSU dataset and consider whether it was the best source for vaccine reporting.  This was to help ensure continuous improvement of future datasets used to report on vaccination rates.

Stats NZ has found that the HSU dataset is an appropriate dataset for measuring vaccination coverage and made a number of other recommendations.

The Ministry has accepted the Stats NZ recommendations and has either already implemented them or is in the process of doing so, with one exception (see recommendation 8 in the Ministry’s Response to Stats NZ recommendations for the HSU). For this specific recommendation, further consideration and consultation with other agencies is needed before moving forward.

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand will start using the updated HSU 2021 dataset from 8 August 2022 to calculate COVID-19 coverage. This replaces the 2020 HSU dataset.

The dataset will be updated every six months, as the latest version is released. This will ensure that we provide the most accurate vaccination coverage information.

While moving to the 2021 HSU data will mean a technical decrease in reported vaccination rates overall, due to the larger number of eligible New Zealanders being identified in the dataset, it does not mean any fewer people have been vaccinated. 

The total number of people aged over 12 who’ve had at least two vaccinations has risen from 3.63 million at the beginning of December 2021, to 3.98 million as at 1 August 2022. 

Thousands of people are being vaccinated very day, and more than 11.1 million vaccinations have been given to New Zealanders aged 5 and up.

New Zealand remains one of the world’s most highly vaccinated countries for COVID-19, sitting in the top half of the group of OECD nations.