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By TRACEY ROXBURGH

We know it’s confusing.

Because how is it even possible we have a negative percentage of people unvaxxed?

And more people than exist vaccinated?

Put really simply, there are two factors at play when the Ministry of Health (not us) do the calculations on vax stats.

Firstly, there’s the numerator — or the known number.

In this case, that’s vaccines.

MoH know exactly how many of those are going into arms here, and across the country, every single day.

What’s trickier, and causing the confusion, is the denominator — the population — which is an estimate.

While Queenstown-Lakes is now at -1.8% unvaxxed, Selwyn’s in the same boat, at -1.9%.

In October, Mountain Scene’s sister paper, Otago Daily Times, reported the population data being used to calculate our vaccination rate was generated when anyone with a Queenstown-Lakes address interacted with the health system anywhere in the country last year.

That included enrolling at a medical centre, taking a prescription to a pharmacy, or  presenting at a hospital.

Southern DHB Covid-19 vaccination rollout lead Hamish Brown told the ODT then an increase in the district’s population since last year would lead to a higher reported  vaccination rate.

So, what’s happening with the percentages is simply an indication MoH et al have underestimated the size of our population.

We have asked MoH and the Southern District Health Board for comment and, given we’ve gone over 100% with single doses, how confident are they we actually have a 90%-plus vax rate?

MoH didn’t respond at all, and the DHB couldn’t respond by deadline.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz