The first doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine have been given in New Zealand this afternoon.
The Ministry of Health says “a small group of vaccinators have given and received their first Covid-19 vaccinations as part of final preparations before tomorrow’s rollout of New Zealand’s immunisation programme.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield commented on the occasion in a statement.
“Our trial run at the Auckland quarantine facility today has confirmed our processes and systems are ready ahead of our first official day vaccinating border and MIQ workers tomorrow,” Bloomfield said.
“Today we’ve vaccinated 25 Auckland-based vaccinators who will start giving the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to border and MIQ staff from tomorrow. There were two teams involved in today’s trial run.
“This is the first time we’ve used this vaccine and it’s our first vaccine that needs ultra-low temperature storage, so it’s important we check and fine-tune our processes and give vaccinators an opportunity to handle the vaccine.
“It’s appropriate to protect our vaccinators who will play an important role in the coming weeks and months. These vaccinators will start administering vaccines to frontline border and MIQ workers from tomorrow."
Bloomfield says Auckland workers will be the first to receive vaccines, with the programme then being rolled out in Wellington and Christchurch on Wednesday.
“We’re confident we’re ready for tomorrow’s rollout, which is a significant milestone in New Zealand’s fight against Covid-19.
“Rolling out our immunisation programme across Aotearoa will take a full year – we’re not in a race to be first, but we are committed to ensuring safe and timely access to Covid-19 vaccines for everyone in New Zealand,” Bloomfield said.
The Pfizer vaccine is administered in two doses, with a three week break in between.
The Ministry of Health released footage of the first doses being administered which can be viewed in the video at the top of the article.