New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been vaccinated against COVID-19, appealing to Kiwis to do the same.
She received her first dose of Pfizer on Friday afternoon at the Manurewa vaccination clinic in South Auckland.
“In 2020 we stayed home to save lives. In 2021 we need to get the team vaccinated to save lives,” she said.
“Do it for those you love.”
Ms Ardern was vaccinated alongside the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Juliet Gerrard, turning down an offer from opposition leader Judith Collins to be jabbed together in a show of national unity.
The prime minister rolled up her left sleeve to receive the vaccination, saying she was “smiling under the mask” and “it’s really true what they say, it’s pretty pain-free”.
“To be a part of what is the biggest vaccination event and the biggest health rollout in our nation’s history, it’s a really important milestone for me,” she said.
Ms Ardern took a different tack to Australian prime minister Scott Morrison to being vaccinated.
He was one of the very first to be vaccinated in his country, back in February.
Ms Ardern said she wanted to wait for health and border workers to receive their shots before getting hers, choosing this week to be vaccinated as the government has unveiled its full rollout plan.
So far, NZ has issued fewer than one million doses of Pfizer vaccine, placing it 120th in the world for doses administered per capita.
The rollout plan includes a rapid ramping up in the second half of the year.
NZ will prioritise older Kiwis, starting with those 65 and over on 28 July.
Every New Zealander will be eligible from October, when under 35s will be invited to receive their treatment.
Ms Ardern’s government has pledged to vaccinate every consenting adult Kiwi this year, confirming this goal remains on track.
A number of other Kiwi politicians have been vaccinated, including COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins and his shadow minister Chris Bishop.
The leaders of minor parties ACT and the Maori Party have also been vaccinated, aiming to encourage the community to do the same.