New Zealand begins COVID-19 vaccination program

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Jacinda Ardern

FILE – In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks at a press event at U.N. headquarters. Ardern said Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 that New Zealand’s general election will be held on Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Vaccinations began for the first time in New Zealand this weekend as the country continues its stellar containment of COVID-19.

A small group of medical professionals were the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine in Auckland.

The wider rollout got underway Saturday with border staff, and so-called managed isolation and quarantine workers.

New Zealand has seen just 2,300 cases of the virus in all and 26 deaths.

The entire country reported 35 new cases in the last two weeks which forced a temporary lockdown in its capital city last week.

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