Sydney, Australia, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- New Zealand, one of the best countries worldwide in terms of managing the new coronavirus pandemic, on Saturday officially kicked off its anti-Covid vaccination campaign by administering the vaccine developed by American pharma company Pfizer to its frontline workers.
“And our COVID 19 vaccination programme begins! We’re starting with our frontline border workers who have been keeping us safe for so long now,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern posted on her Facebook page along with a video of the campaign.
Health Minister Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement that the first vaccines were administered on Friday to 29 health workers in charge of injecting the antidote from Saturday onwards.
“Today, we kick off the largest immunisation programme in our history (….). This is an important first step and we will be moving through these first few days and weeks in a measured way to make sure our systems and processes are solid,” said the minister.
New Zealand, which is expected to take a few weeks to first vaccinate around 12,000 frontline workers and those at quarantine centers, is aiming to immunize its over five million inhabitants in the span of an year.
The government had on Wednesday lifted a three-day lockdown imposed on Auckland, the most populated city in the country, despite not having located the origin of a fresh outbreak of the British strain of the virus that has affected three members of the same family.
New Zealand, which has been praised for its handling of the pandemic being among the best in the world, has so far recorded a total of 2,350 Covid-19 cases, including 356 cases registered as “probable” infections, and 26 deaths. EFE-EPA