Border and MIQ workforce prioritised for vaccine rollout, 2 weeks in

Published: 06 March 2021

New Zealand is now 2 weeks into the largest immunisation programme ever undertaken here, with border and managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) workers first in line.

Person receiving vaccination from worker.

Drew Leafa, Operations Manager at the Jet Park Hotel, Auckland, receiving his vaccination on 20 February 2021.

“We are so proud of our people for doing the right thing by stepping up and being part of the first phase of the vaccination roll-out to border and MIQ workers.” says Megan Main, Deputy Secretary, MIQ at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“Border and MIQ workers know that they are at the frontline of New Zealand’s defence against COVID-19. Thanks to their commitment and hard work we are helping protect New Zealanders from the virus.”

The COVID-19 vaccination programme roll-out started on 20 February when MIQ workers at the Jet Park hotel facility in Auckland were the first people to be offered the vaccination. Since then, border and MIQ staff across New Zealand have taken the opportunity to be the first people to have early access to the vaccine.

“The roll-out of the vaccination programme has started with our border and MIQ workers and will then focus on the people they live with, an estimated 50,000 people. These are the people most at risk of exposure to the virus.”

Border and MIQ staff have now supported more than 117,000 people to safely cross the border to life in New Zealand, all while protecting our communities.

The border and MIQ system brings together people with expertise in hotel hospitality, health, security, wellbeing support, facility management, logistics and transportation, and customs and immigration.

“MIQ staff are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support returnees in 32 facilities,” says Ms Main.

“They make sure every aspect of a returnee’s stay in managed isolation is safe and secure – from food preparation and laundry, to their transport, COVID-19 testing, exercise, and health and wellbeing checks.”

A big milestone

Joint Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, Brigadier Jim Bliss, says the start of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is a big milestone in New Zealand’s fight against COVID-19.

“Offering the vaccine to our border and MIQ workers and those they live with will provide a critical additional line of defence to keep them, their whānau and our communities safe and well, and help prevent COVID-19 from spreading into our communities,” he says.

“It’s an extra layer to help protect all New Zealanders against COVID-19.”

“Getting vaccinated is key to locking in the gains we have made and protecting our hard-won freedoms,” says Brigadier Bliss.

For more information

Key COVID-19 information in 20 languages on Unite Against COVID(external link)

Ministry of Health for fact sheets, FAQs and other resources(external link)

Informational videos on Youtube about the vaccine and the process taken to ensure it is safe and effective(external link)