Port workers first to receive vaccine

Port Otago worker Josh Greer receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Dunedin. PHOTOS:...
Port Otago worker Josh Greer receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in Dunedin. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Southern port workers yesterday became the first people in the region to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.

An initial 30 workers at Port Chalmers and South Port got injections, as a test run for when the vaccination roll-out proper starts today.

South Port pilot Bob Coote gets his vaccination in Bluff.
South Port pilot Bob Coote gets his vaccination in Bluff.
Up to 370 port workers are scheduled to receive Covid-19 vaccinations this week.

More than 220 staff at Port Otago and 45 workers on the wharf at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter will receive the first of two jabs today, and 100 South Port workers in Bluff will be vaccinated tomorrow.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses, and the second round of injections is scheduled for the end of March.

The first batch of vaccines ordered by New Zealand arrived on February 15, and border staff in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch began their injection regime last week.

“We are extremely grateful to the ports for all of their assistance in getting this important vaccination work started, and particularly for helping to protect their communities," Southern District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Susan Jack said.

"It sets the scene for the continued roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine across the whole Southern district."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced that people who lived in the same household as border and managed isolation and quarantine workers — about 50,000 people — would be the next to receive Covid-19 vaccinations.

Following them, health workers who dealt with patients but did not work on the border would receive their injections.

The vaccinations dispensed yesterday were transported to Dunedin and Invercargill in special containers from the ultra-low temperature storage facility in Auckland.

Two general practices, in Dunedin and Invercargill, administered the vaccinations, with help from WellSouth and Public Health South staff.

  • AN ill passenger who flew in to Queenstown Airport yesterday did not have Covid-19, the Ministry of Health says.

The patient, who arrived in Queenstown on Flight NZ611 from Auckland, was met by St John staff after showing mild flu-like symptoms, a Queenstown Airport statement said.

A Health Ministry spokeswoman said that the person had returned a negative test.


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