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First COVID-19 jabs to be administered in NZ today

First COVID-19 jabs to be administered in NZ today

The first COVID-19 vaccines will be administered in New Zealand today.

First COVID-19 jabs to be administered in NZ today

One hundred people are due to get the jab this morning. The people who will first receive the vaccine are vaccinators who will go on to vaccinate border workers from tomorrow.

The vaccinators are mostly nurses who have received training on how to handle the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is the first vaccine to have arrived in the country and is the only one approved by MedSafe so far.

Dr Joe Bourne, part of the COVID vaccine immunisation programme, told RNZ that vaccinators were a “sensible cohort” to receive the vaccine first.

“This is an opportunity for the vaccinators to actually handle the material they are going to be using,” he said.

“By the nature of the role, they will be coming into contact with people who are at the border. It felt like a sensible cohort to be doing the vaccinations on.”

Twelve thousand border workers are due to receive the vaccine over the next few months.

At the front of the queue are staff at quarantine hotels Jet Park in Auckland, Grand Mercure in Wellington and Sudima at Christchurch Airport.

Staff at the other 29 MIQ hotels around the country will follow, as well as other border staff and airline workers.

It comes just nine days short of a year since New Zealand’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.

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