Wellington, Aug 1 (IANS) New Zealand has started mass Covid-19 vaccination in Manukau, south of Auckland, with the aim of inoculating more than 5,000 people each day.
The government launched the first and largest mass rollout lastweek, with a goal to have 16,000 people jabbed in three days, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.
Auckland District Health Board (DHB) said the event is designed to get large groups of people vaccinated efficiently and safely in a short period of time at a single venue.
Andy Zhang, who received his first jab in Auckland on Saturday, told Xinhua that more than 200 booths were set up in the Vodafone Events Center, an iconic arena designed for conferences and concerts.
"We were told to gather at Manukau Institute of Technology, a building nearby. And after double check with working staff, we jumped in a charted coach to be transported to the arena, and then directed to a seat in a booth, then awaiting vaccinator coming."
The event was called "a vaccination Olympics" by associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall.
According to New Zealand Ministry of Health, 699,469 people have completed their two doses of vaccination as of July 27, accounting for roughly 14 per cent of the country's population after the five-month rollout started in February.
Local experts expressed growing concerns about the potential impact of the slow pace rollout on New Zealand herd immunity and economic recovery.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her cabinet members mentioned multiple times on different occasions that a high jab rate is one of the crucial preconditions to take border-lift into reconsideration.