Outrage in New Zealand as MPs push for Kiwi athletes to get Covid vaccine FIRST – despite no jab plan for the rest of the population
- Kiwi MPs are pushing for New Zealand’s Black Caps to get jabs before the public
- It would allow them to compete overseas with the country’s strict rules
- So far the island nation has yet to announce a broader vaccination programme
A veteran of Jacinda Ardern’s Labour caucus has broken ranks to support Kiwi athletes receiving COVID-19 vaccinations to travel abroad and represent New Zealand safely.
The issue of vaccine prioritisation has hit the news as New Zealand’s Black Caps need vaccinations soon to compete overseas safely.
Unlike Australia and other developed nations, Ms Ardern’s government has yet to unveil its vaccine rollout plan.
Many border force workers and their families have already been vaccinated, but there no plan have been announced for immunising the wider population.
Ms Ardern (pictured on March 5), as well as Sport Minister Grant Robertson, has deferred on whether sportspeople should be bumped up the queue ahead of the elderly or vulnerable.
Long-serving Auckland MP Louisa Wall, a former international netballer and World Cup-winning rugby player, says the issue is a no-brainer.
‘I absolutely support the Black Caps being prioritised for vaccination,’ Ms Wall said.
‘Sport is an area that provides New Zealanders with much pride. To represent us to the best of their ability , we have to ensure their health and safety is maximised.
‘Our sportspeople are our heroes and their willingness to vaccinate to enable that representation should also inspire other Kiwis to vaccinate as well.’
Ms Ardern, as well as Sport Minister Grant Robertson, has deferred on whether sportspeople should be bumped up the queue ahead of the elderly or vulnerable.
The government is currently vaccinating border workers and their families, and front-facing health workers.
Auckland (pictured on March 7) came out of a swift lockdown on Sunday morning as the city was moved to Level Two restrictions after a recent outbreak linked to hotel quarantine
Who comes next is yet to be decided.
Opposition leader Judith Collins wants everyone to get the vaccine and quickly.
‘Our sports people, our Olympians are going to be expected to undertake their work,’ she said.
‘I’d also say there’s lots of businesspeople as well who are saying they can get overseas and they’ve got big deals that may fall over. The faster everyone gets it, the better.’
Ms Ardern said more details on the vaccine rollout will come on Wednesday.
On Monday, the government announced a purchase order for 8.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.