By GUY WILLIAMS
Covid-19 vaccine jabs will start going into arms in Queenstown today.
The milestone comes only a few weeks after the 12-month anniversary of a female Danish tourist becoming the resort’s — and the South Island’s — first confirmed case of the coronavirus.
The jabs, which are being overseen by the Southern District Health Board, are open to frontline health workers, border workers, and the household contacts of those people.
Vaccination clinics at Queenstown Medical Centre’s Isle Street practice and Wakatipu Medical Centre’s Queenstown Country Club practice will run this weekend from 9.30am to 4pm, and from this coming Monday to Thursday between 5.30pm and 8pm.
Southern DHB comms boss Nicola Mutch isn’t able to provide a full estimate of how many are expected to get the jabs, but says border workers and their household contacts alone number about 1800.
Outgoing Queenstown Airport boss Colin Keel says the vaccination of his staff is not necessary for April 19’s opening of the border with Australia, but is an important step to protect its frontliners and will provide the wider airport community with ‘‘peace of mind’’.
Nationally, the next group eligible for vaccination — from next month — are over- 65s, those with an underlying health condition, the disabled and adults in custody.
Vaccination for the general public — if you’re 16 or older — is slated to start in July.