The head of New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) system is pleased with the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine to date.
MIQ and other border staff were first in line for New Zealand’s vaccine rollout, being most at risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus and passing it onto others in the community.
That risk appears to have been dramatically reduced – three weeks in, 83.6 percent of them have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – about 12,700 people.
“These workers are our frontline defence against COVID-19 – every day that they go to work, they put themselves between us, the community, and the virus,” Brigadier Jim Bliss, head of MIQ, told Newshub.
“There’s been a really strong uptake from all of our workers and their families. We recognise that some people might have been initially reluctant to have the vaccine, wait it out a bit… maybe do a bit more reading and understanding of the literature. But we’ve only been going three weeks, and to have 84 percent of the staff vaccinated is really positive.”
RNZ reported 21 have proactively refused to be vaccinated.