Covid-19 vaccines arrive in Niue to start five-week full rollout

2021-06-02 10:57:10

Niue’s first supply of Covid-19 vaccines has arrived and the small variety of inoculations can be used to vaccinate the vaccinators and different key individuals.

A generic picture of a vaccine, needle.

Niue’s Excessive Commissioner Fisa Igilisi Pihigia mentioned the vaccine supply was a very long time coming (file picture).
Photograph: 123RF

A a lot bigger supply will arrive subsequent Wednesday, enabling the broader vaccine roll-out to start.

This has made New Zealand and Niue officers optimistic about the potential for the island nation being subsequent in line to affix the journey bubble.

Niue has remained fully untouched by the pandemic, with no instances or deaths from Covid-19, however that didn’t diminish the importance of Wednesday’s supply.

New Zealand Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio mentioned it was a monumental event for the Pacific nation of about 1200 individuals.

“It is vital, they’ve typically been Covid free they usually need to have the ability to proceed defending their inhabitants in an effort to start rebuilding their economic system,” Sio mentioned.

“Niue has actually been adamant that they wish to vaccinate their inhabitants earlier than the opening of a two-way border. And that is what we’re working with them now to make sure.”

Niue’s Excessive Commissioner Fisa Igilisi Pihigia mentioned it was a very long time coming.

“It is excellent news for Niue so we will edit these layers of safety for the individuals and put together for quarantine-free journey,” Pihigia mentioned.

Sio mentioned New Zealand’s assist was key to getting the programme off the bottom.

“They’d a alternative of whether or not to obtain vaccines immediately from [World Health Organisation] as a part of the Covax facility or obtain it from us. They selected to obtain it from us. So we have been working alongside this on an everyday, ongoing engagement,” he mentioned.

New Zealand's Pacific People's Minister, Aupito William Sio, and Niue High Commissioner Fisa Pihigia.

New Zealand’s Pacific Folks’s Minister, Aupito William Sio, and Niue Excessive Commissioner Fisa Pihigia.
Photograph: RNZ Pacific/ Jamie Tahana

It was anticipated to take about 5 weeks for the complete island’s eligible inhabitants to be totally immunised.

It might then be as much as Niue’s authorities to determine when and the way quarantine-free journey would start, Sio mentioned.

“The premier has been very adamant that they just like the New Zealand technique of one of the best financial response is a powerful well being response and, due to this fact, they consider that vaccinating their inhabitants is the primary stepping stone in the direction of opening up.

“However mainly, it’s as much as them to determine this and people discussions are nonetheless occurring on the officers stage.”

Pihigia mentioned the nation solely had the capability to isolate about 30 individuals at a time, which means a journey bubble would permit many Niueans who had been caught in New Zealand for over a yr to go to household and buddies.

“Additionally the tourism trade – that is the primary trade in Niue – for the time being is hit laborious. [Covid-19] actually has affected Niue due to the tourism-related income that the federal government and in addition the locals used to obtain. So it’s vital that the borders open.”

It might nonetheless take a few weeks following the vaccinations for an official announcement concerning the bubble to be made.

Pihigia remained optimistic that quarantine-free journey between New Zealand and Niue would arrive quickly.

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