Saturday, December 4, 2021

New Zealand dispenses record number of jabs at ‘Vaxathon’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – New Zealand health care workers received a record number of vaccines on Saturday as the nation held a celebration aimed at getting more people vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Musicians, sports stars and celebrities took part in the “vaxathon” event, which was broadcast for eight hours straight on television and online. By late afternoon, more than 120,000 people had received the shots, breaking the daily record set in August of 93,000. The program dragged on till the evening.

A return to popular TV “telethon” events from the 1970s to the 1990s, it comes as New Zealand faces its greatest threat since the pandemic began, with the largest city in Auckland and beyond With the outbreak of the spread Delta version.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who interacted with motorists at a drive-thru vaccination center in Wellington, initially set a target of 100,000 jabs for the day, but raised it to 150,000 after the first target was met.

It also set a target of 25,000 shots for indigenous Māori, whose vaccination numbers have been low and who have been badly hit by the latest outbreak.

National carrier Air New Zealand turned Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft into vaccination clinics for the day, issuing boarding passes to people on “Flight NZVX”.

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Singer Lorde came from overseas, said she couldn’t wait to get back home to play a concert and that everyone would sweat and dance.

“I’m the first one to admit that I find it really difficult to inject, but since I was a kid, I’ve treated myself by going to a bakery after injections, usually to custard tarts,” she said. . “So you could do that.”

New Zealand has so far used only the Pfizer vaccine.

For most of the pandemic, New Zealanders have remained completely free of the virus, after the government successfully ended each outbreak through strict lockdowns and contact tracing.

The zero-tolerance strategy failed for the first time since the outbreak of the more infectious Delta variant in August. Until that time, New Zealand was slow to vaccinate its population. It has since been making up for lost ground.

Before the Vaxathon, about 72% of New Zealanders had received at least one dose and 54% were fully vaccinated. Among those aged 12 years and above, the proportion was 83% and 62%, respectively.

Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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