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NZ PM reveals COVID-19 vaccine timeline

February 3, 2021 12:13 pm
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Medsafe has conditionally approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in New Zealand and the first Kiwis to get it will be MIQ workers and their families.

The announcement was made at 2pm by the Ministry of Health and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the conditional approval won’t stop use of the vaccine but will require Pfizer to continue providing rolling data.

“Subject to the expected delivery of the first batch of the vaccine, we will start vaccinating first our border workers and the people they live with. People such as cleaners, the nurses who undertake health checks in MIQ, security staff, customs and border officials, airline staff and hotel workers will be among the first to get the vaccine,” Ardern said.

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Ardern said she and her family members will be vaccinated but they weren’t the priority – frontline border workers are.

“I will absolutely be vaccinated.”

Ardern said while the vaccine wouldn’t be compulsory for border workers, she expected there to be high uptake.

Ardern said the world “just can’t afford” vaccine nationalism and it was in everyone’s interest vaccination programmes were rolled out in other countries, She’s hasn’t received any advice that the hold-ups in Europe would affect New Zealand’s delivery.

The initial batch is expected to cover every border worker and their close contacts.

Ardern blamed a delay on the vaccine arriving on the fact New Zealand didn’t have people dying like other countries.

Once border workers have been vaccinated there will be a tiered roll-out, with it moving to health workers and rest-home staff.

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