New Zealand dispenses record number of jabs at 'Vaxathon'

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Jason Waitoa waits for his vaccination successful Rotorua, New Zealand, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. New Zealand wellness attraction workers person administered a grounds fig of vaccine jabs arsenic the federation holds a festival aimed astatine getting much radical inoculated against the coronavirus. (Andrew Warner/NZME via AP)

WELLINGTON – New Zealand wellness attraction workers administered a grounds fig of vaccine jabs Saturday arsenic the federation held a festival aimed astatine getting much radical inoculated against the coronavirus.

Musicians, sports stars and celebrities pitched successful for the “Vaxathon” lawsuit which was broadcast connected tv and online for 8 hours straight. By precocious afternoon, much than 120,000 radical had gotten shots, eclipsing the regular grounds of 93,000 acceptable successful August. The lawsuit stretched into the evening.

A throwback to TV fundraising “telethon” events that were fashionable from the 1970s done the 1990s, it comes arsenic New Zealand faces its biggest menace since the pandemic began, with an outbreak of the delta variant spreading done the largest metropolis of Auckland and beyond.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who chatted with motorists astatine a drive-through vaccination halfway successful Wellington, initially acceptable a people of 100,000 jabs for the time but upped that to 150,000 aft the archetypal people was met.

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She besides acceptable a people of 25,000 shots for Indigenous Maori, whose vaccination numbers person been lagging and who person been deed hard by the latest outbreak.

National bearer Air New Zealand converted a Boeing 787 Dreamliner level into a vaccination session for the day, issuing radical boarding passes connected “Flight NZVAX.”

Singer Lorde beamed successful from abroad, saying she couldn't hold to travel backmost location to play a performance and person everyone get sweaty and dance.

“I americium the archetypal idiosyncratic to admit that I find getting injections truly icky, but ever since I was a kid, I person treated myself by going to the bakery aft an injection, usually for a custard tart," she said. "So you could bash that.”

New Zealand has truthful acold utilized lone the Pfizer vaccine.

For overmuch of the pandemic, New Zealanders person lived wholly escaped from the microorganism aft the authorities successfully eliminated each outbreak done strict lockdowns and interaction tracing.

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That zero-tolerance strategy failed for the archetypal clip aft the outbreak of the much contagious delta variant began successful August. Until then, New Zealand was dilatory to immunize its population. It since has been making up for mislaid ground.

Before the Vaxathon, astir 72% of New Zealanders had received astatine slightest 1 dose and 54% were afloat vaccinated. Among those aged 12 and over, the proportionality was astir 83% and 62% respectively.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This worldly whitethorn not beryllium published, broadcast, rewritten oregon redistributed without permission.


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