The first group of border workers in Wellington received their vaccinations today as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic ramps up.
Among the Wellington border workers at the Grant Mercure Hotel who were vaccinated today was Group Captain Peter Johnson, who visits managed isolation and quarantine facilities around the country in his capacity as general manager of all 32 of New Zealand’s MIQ operations.
Group Captain Peter Johnson from the Royal New Zealand Air Force says for him, the decision to be vaccinated was an easy one.
“I have family in the UK who have been in lockdown for almost a year. My elderly father, mother-in-law and sister, who is a healthcare worker, were all vaccinated there and have said it’s similar to a normal flu jab. That’s given me further confidence,” he said.
Group Captain Peter Johnson was vaccinated by Marie Ryan-Hobowska, who is Capital & Coast DHB’s nurse educator and vaccinator for managed isolation facilities.
Marie Ryan-Hobowska says she is proud to be part of one of the first groups getting vaccinated and being able to vaccinate others.
“Our workers here in Wellington are eagerly anticipating their invitation for vaccination. Having the vaccination available gives us another level of confidence that we are safe, and our whanau and friends are safe too,” she said.
MBIE Deputy Secretary and Joint Head of MIQ, Megan Main says she shares that confidence.
“As someone with an engineering background, I believe in science, facts and data. I’m confident this vaccine is safe and our MIQ workforce should be confident in it too.
“Every day they go to work and put themselves between all of us and this virus. They’re heroes and it’s because of them that we’re all able to enjoy the freedoms we do.
“I really encourage our MIQ workers to take up the opportunity to be at the start of the national roll out. They follow really strict infection prevention protocols, both at home and at work, and live much of their lives in a Level 4 environment. This vaccine will give them another layer of protection on top of that,” Megan Main said.
Today’s vaccinations follow the first successful vaccinations of border workers at the Jet Park Hotel in Auckland on Saturday. Further vaccinations were done in Auckland today for border workers at the Crown Plaza managed isolation facility and those protecting our maritime border at the Ports of Auckland.
Vaccinations continue tomorrow at the Ports of Auckland and will begin in Christchurch on Wednesday.