Jacinda Ardern receives Covid-19 booster shot

Source: 1News

Jacinda Ardern has rolled up her sleeve to receive the booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccination in Auckland.

The Prime Minister received her first dose last year in Manurewa on June 18 and second in Hamilton on July 28.

Jacinda Ardern receives her Covid-19 booster shot.

"Today is a really big day. Today marks another milestone in our programme," she said. "Today is the day people are able to book their booster."

"We're now in a position where half of eligible New Zealanders have received their booster shot, which is absolutely fantastic and we want to keep that going."

The recommended time between a second dose and a booster shot was reduced from six months to four at the end of last year, due to the Omicron strand.

"Everyone has worked incredibly hard to keep Omicron at bay, but the reality is it's a case of when not if. But we have something others haven't had and that is to boost before it arrives," Ardern said.

"Two doses is great, but for Omicron that booster is boosting people's immunity and better preparing them for what we know is inevitable."

Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare joined the Prime Minister at the Auckland vaccine clinic. Monday also marks first day of the vaccine rollout for five to 11-year-olds.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported 22,149 booster doses were administered the previous day, bringing the total in New Zealand to 742,123.

"New Zealand’s vaccine rollout remains our key defence against all variants of Covid-19, including Omicron," a spokesperson said in a statement.

"With 93 per cent of the eligible population now double-dosed, and the booster programme underway, New Zealanders are well protected.

"We want vaccinations to continue to increase and ask everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. This is also a timely reminder for people over the age of 18 to get their booster shot if it has been four months since their last vaccine dose."

Professor Michael Baker told RNZ while New Zealand's vaccine rate was high compared to the UK, New Zealand was lagging behind with booster shots.

ACT's David Seymour said the Government needed to "start with an all-out sprint to ensure the most vulnerable receive boosters".

"Don’t count how many boosters are issued, but how many of the over 65s and those with underlying conditions get boosted first, so the booster programme is as effective as possible," he said.