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There are no new Covid-19 cases in the community today, and seven cases in managed isolation facilities.

Health authorities released the information this afternoon, a day after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the opening of a travel bubble with Australia.

The seven new cases included one person from the US who arrived on March 22 on a direct flight and tested positive on about day 14 of their stay after contact with a positive case.

The other six cases were all from India, having all flown through the United Arab Emirates.

That meant the seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is five, and the total number of active cases in New Zealand is 81.

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said the February Covid-19 cluster was now considered closed, because it had been 28 days since the last case recovered, with no further cases reported.

The total cluster number was 15 community cases.

"It's great to reach that milestone."

The vaccine rollout

Bloomfield and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare provided a vaccine update today.

Bloomfield said 90,286 vaccine doses administered had been administered as of midnight last night, and New Zealand was likely to hit the 100,000 milestone in the next couple of days.

He said vaccination numbers dipped over the Easter weekend, and he expected 35,000 people would be vaccinated per week.

He said 147 adverse reactions to the vaccine had been recorded, three which were considered serious. All those involved an allergic reaction of some kind and no new safety concerns had been identified in New Zealand.

New Zealand had four advance-purchase arrangements with four different manufacturers and they were all still in place.

The next vaccine to be considered by health authorities in New Zealand is the Janssen vaccine, Bloomfield says.

He says potential disruptions could come into place with the delivery of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and that is why the four other agreements are still in place. However, he says there have been no hints of disruptions yet.

"We want to make sure we have more than one option available."

Henare received his first Pfizer vaccine dose at a clinic in Porirua this morning.

He is one of several politicians with a health-based portfolio who have been invited to get the immunisation early, in an attempt to boost confidence in its safety.

The minister is encouraging Māori to follow his lead and get vaccinated against Covid-19, and has been travelling around the North Island engaging with Māori communities in an effort to inform and combat vaccine hesitancy.

He said he was feeling well after the vaccination and looked forward to continuing to advocate for the vaccine.

"I look forward to spreading the message around the vaccine and its efficacy and supporting it amongst our communities."

Henare says the Ministry of Health has been in talks with 62 Māori health providers about the $11 million in funding the government has allocated for equitable rollout of the vaccine for Māori.

He says iwi leaders and comms have been used to reach "as many of our people as possible".

Henare says his thoughts are with Minister Kiri Allan and her whānau. Allan publicly revealed yesterday she had been diagnosed with stage-three cervical cancer.

Health Minister Andrew Little, who also received his first Pfizer jab this morning, said this morning about 6000 people a day were being immunised and that figure would have to rise.

He is hoping vaccination numbers will increase to about 10,000 a day by the end of this month.

 - additional reporting RNZ


2 Million vaccinations by the end of June is not looking good

To let the virus into the country needs compulsory vaccination.

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