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Covid-19 vaccines from NZ arrive in Tokelau

Covid-19 vaccines carried from Auckland on HMNZS Wellington have arrived in Tokelau today so the remote Pacific territory can begin immunising its population against the virus.

Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine from the HMNZS Wellington in Tokelau. Source: Facebook / Government of Tokelau

New Zealand’s given enough Pfizer jabs to protect the entire eligible population.

Around 1500 people live in Tokelau, which is only accessible by sea.

The vaccines were carried by ship for almost a week from Auckland, then transported by a small boat or helicopter to reach the atolls.

Vaccines were first dropped to Fakaofo, then Nukuonu and Atafu.

The deliveries have been strictly contactless and Royal New Zealand Navy crews received training to make sure Tokelau remains free of Covid-19.

Officials in Tokelau have been preparing to roll out the Pfizer vaccines as soon as the shots arrived.

Signs reading ‘Kia Ora Aotearoa’ and ‘Thank You New Zealand’ were there to welcome the arrivals.

A sign welcoming the HMNZS Wellington in Tokelau. Source: Facebook / Government of Tokelau

Tokelau is a territory of Aotearoa, meaning all Tokelauans have New Zealand citizenship.

HMNZS Wellington, carrying 76 sailors, will now transport more vaccines to the northern Cook Islands.

Five-thousand nautical miles will be covered in the journey.