New Zealand PM leaves press conference after anti-vaxxer interruption

Sydney, Australia, Nov 2 (EFE).- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern left an open-air press conference Tuesday in the town of Northland after being interrupted by at least two anti-vaccine activists.

Ardern was speaking about the Covid-19 vaccine deployment in Northland, the region with the lowest rate of immunization against coronavirus in New Zealand, when a woman began to sing loudly in Maori to antagonize attendees.

American Shane Chafin of Counterspin Media, a talk show linked to far-right groups based in New Zealand, asked the president to indicate the death rate of the Covid-19 vaccine and name a woman who died after receiving the drug, according to local news site Stuff.

Chafin, unaccredited for the press conference, repeatedly asked and interrupted Ardern.

“Why are vaccines not working in Israel?” he said, referring to the cases of Covid-19 in the middle-eastern country, and accused the president of “lying” to citizens.

Ardern, visibly annoyed after trying to ignore Chafin’s words, apologized to the accredited media and decided to leave the press conference.

New Zealand seeks to accelerate vaccinations, especially among the Maori population, in view of the reopening of the New Zealand economy amid fighting an outbreak with the delta variant detected in August. The outbreak has since forced the confinement of Auckland, the country’s most populous city, which continues to be isolated from the rest of the country.

The country has administered the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine to 75.5 percent of the target population and has registered 6,723 infections (probable and confirmed) since the beginning of the pandemic, including 28 deaths. EFE


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