New Zealand began its COVID-19 vaccination roll out on Saturday with front line workers first in the queue.
“Vaccination of our hard-working and dedicated border staff marks a significant step forward, a milestone, that protects those at greatest risk of getting the virus and helping to reduce the risk of it spreading into our communities, said New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.
It was the start of what he described as the “largest immunisation programme in our history.”
Those administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were given it first on Friday, followed by frontline workers on Saturday.
Bloomfield said next Monday the programme would be rolled out in Wellington, and then in Christchurch on Wednesday.
About 12,000 border and managed isolation and quarantine workers would be vaccinated over the coming weeks.
He said the finer details of a public vaccine rollout were being worked out and an announcement was expected soon.
Bloomfield said the vaccination roll out will take a year.