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Ardern urges Kiwis to get vaccinated - 'It's an act of kindness'

"Get vaccinated" - was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's call to New Zealand as the Covid immunisation programme for group four opened up to everyone over 60 today. 

Jacinda Ardern. Source: 1 NEWS

Just prior to receiving her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Ardern said her previous dose "felt like I'd been knocked in the arm".

"That's hardly a trade off when we think about what protection it provides New Zealanders, our family and friends". 

"It's an act of kindness on behalf of the rest of the country. 

The group four vaccination roll out began today, kicking off with those aged 60 and over as signalled last month

"All over 60 are eligible," Ardern said. "Where you are will depend how quickly you'll be able to be booked in."

"No matter what, there is a vaccine for everyone. Everyone eligible will be able to get vaccinated this year."

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Aotearoa is just short of 700,000 New Zealanders being fully vaccinated, or about 17 percent of the eligible population. Source: 1 NEWS

Those 55 and over will begin theirs on August 11. 

Ardern cemented the message for people to get vaccinated, after RNZ reported less than a quarter of those sent initial invitations to the Manukau mass vaccination event this weekend had booked a slot, with health officials scrambling to find 12,000 more people so it can go ahead.

"Get vaccinated," Ardern said.

"The Delta variant is spreading around the world. We are not out of the woods yet. To be effective, we need everyone. 

"We need high number to achieve the highest security. The vaccines are here and more are arriving."

Ardern was speaking from Hamilton's Te Awa vaccination centre.

She said so far more than 1.7 million doses of Pfizer vaccine had been administered, with 699,479 people fully vaccinated.

"That's a good start. From today our programme significantly expands," she said. 

In the past week, almost 25,000 doses had been administered.