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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The second round of COVID-19 vaccine doses for border and MIQ workers is underway, with the first cohort of workers who were vaccinated three weeks ago returning for their final doses.

They included Jet Park operations manager Drew Leafa and the Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, Brigadier Jim Bliss. Mr Leafa works at the Jet Park quarantine facility and Brigadier Bliss regularly visits quarantine and managed isolation facilities around the country.

Both spoke of their sense of relief at receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

‘It’s good to have the second shot and to be at the Jet Park with some of our frontline staff. It’s important for them to get the vaccine and to add another layer of protection for them and their families and our community,’ Brigadier Bliss says.

‘We have more than 4000 MIQ staff on the frontline. They are our frontline defence against COVID-19, so across our 32 facilities it’s really important for us that we protect them, look after them so they can all do their job keeping us all safe as a community.

‘From my own experiences in the army, serving overseas, the number of communities that don’t have the opportunity to get vaccinated takes a terrible toll on a population.’

He urged people who were unsure about getting a vaccination to talk to a medical professional, their own families and to read widely about the vaccination itself.

Mr Leafa says having his second vaccination was ‘brilliant. I now feel like I have tripled my protection and feel so much better for it.

‘I know there is a lot of scepticism and theories out there, but I know it is going to save you, save your family and save your life,’ he says.

So far, more than 500 of the estimated 15,000 border and MIQ workers have received the second dose of the vaccine.

About 91 percent of the border and MIQ workers have received their first vaccination.

MIL OSI