LIVE: Around 12,000 border workers now vaccinated

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins is fronting today's media stand-up with Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

UPDATE: More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country.

As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent of those, which equates to 6,688 people, have been delivered in the Auckland region.

“We are well on our way to ensuring those who are most at risk of COVID-19, the cleaners, nurses who carry out health checks in MIQ, security staff, customs and border officials, hotel workers, airline staff, port authorities and vaccinators will be protected from this virus,” says Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

“I’m also pleased to confirm that a third shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday afternoon, which adds a further 65,500 doses, bringing the total number of Covid-19 vaccines in New Zealand to 200,000.

“From here, we plan to ramp up the vaccination programme, as we move to vaccinate border worker’s families and household contacts. We will then move on to front line health and emergency staff – those people who may be exposed to Covid-19 while doing their jobs.”

Border worker’s families and household contacts will start to be vaccinated in earnest next week, but in some smaller regions, district health boards have already been able to expand their programmes to include these groups.

“In places like Nelson/Marlborough, the smaller workforce has meant both the border workers and their families have been vaccinated at the same time, with the same batch of doses. This is really good news as it means they will also be protected from the virus, and ahead of schedule.

“I look forward to this rolling out in our main centres from next week.”


The Minister for Covid-19 Response, Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, will provide an update to the media today at 1pm.

On Tuesday, there were no new community cases of Covid being reported in New Zealand.

During his media stand-up in the afternoon, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said while this is positive news, "we are not out of the woods yet".

He says were are four new cases in managed isolation being reported on Tuesday.

"These were identified at day one of testing."

A total of 8880 tests were carried out in New Zealand on Monday, 7000 of these were in the Auckland area alone.

Dr Bloomfield is expecting high testing numbers again today and tomorrow.

As of February 14, 70,000 Covid tests have been carried out in Auckland.

Dr Bloomfield says this is equivalent to four per cent of the population.

While the news is looking good, Dr Bloomfield is urging people to remain at home if they are sick.

He says people should limit their movement and interactions with other people until they no longer have symptoms or have received a negative Covid test.

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Posted on 04-03-2021 17:59 | By

Well we are burning through tens of millions each day. Air New Zealand alone has cost us a billion and counting. It’s very easy to think ‘keep the borders shut’ and we are all cosy and protected from the scary highly contagious virus (lol) and that it doesn’t affect ‘me’. The reality is that we all pay for it. There is a need to crack on and I would suggest the slow progress is not down to altruistic woke politics but rather inept planning and management. I think this based on the promise to fix the ‘housing crisis’ and build hundreds of thousands of houses. 4 years on.....

Interesting figures, Slim.

Posted on 04-03-2021 13:22 | By morepork

I haven’t seen or checked your sources but I believe you. So then we need to ask, "Why?". The answer I would suggest is, that as long as we control the borders as we are, and we maintain the contact tracing and testing that we are, we have it mostly under control and there is less urgency for the vaccination than may be the case in other places. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get it done promptly, but it is probably less critical, and it gives us time to distribute and plan vaccinations effectively. It is a very "unwieldy" vaccine with its temperature requirements and needs careful handling. (If it were down to me, I’d have gone Johnson & Johnson... but it is moot now.)


Posted on 04-03-2021 08:30 | By

The list of shame is very interesting. We are vaccinating at the same rate, pro rata, as, wait for it, Mongolia. A vast rugged country with no healthcare system whose population are largely nomadic. Wandering about the plains with their yaks and yurts. But they are still vaccinating as quickly as New Zealand.

Wake up

Posted on 03-03-2021 15:17 | By

Even Myanmar, which is in the middle of a military coup, daily curfews and shooting a few, has managed to vaccinate over 100,000 already. And they are down to virtually no cases too. We are doing it at the same rate as them!


Posted on 03-03-2021 15:12 | By

Hooray, we have just overtaken the Falkland Islands and Greenland, which are basically snow and sheep. Hot on the heels of the likes of Iran, Albania and Kazakhstan. Nowhere near dozens of other two bit countries. Shameful show.