'There's nothing to be afraid of' - First MIQ workers receive Pfizer vaccine

By Te Ao - Māori News
Registered nurse and vaccinator Tracy Peterson, with Auckland MIQ workers (L-R) Lorna Masoe, Drew Leafa and Lynette Faiva.  Photo / File

The first lot of frontline border and MIQ workers have received the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Auckland's Jet Park quarantine facility today. 

"Getting the vaccine was probably the easiest part, not nervous at all," said Lynette Faiva, who was the first border worker at the facility to be vaccinated this morning.

The MIQ family support worker told reporters at this afternoon's media conference in Mt Wellington that she was "feeling fine".

"It was a tiny little prick, it was really easy, there's nothing to be afraid of."

Drew Leafa, who was second to receive the vaccine, said turning up to work today had a "different kind of vibe".  The facility operations manager said he felt like he was "doing something special", which he described as a milestone for New Zealand and the country's quarantine system.

"I'll take this to my grave that I was the second person that was vaccinated," he said.

Leafa had a simple message which he wanted to help promote throughout New Zealand, "Listen guys, do it. It's going to help us and we'll be no. 1 in the world," he said.

"The feelings are unexplainable," said Lorna Masoe, who was the third border worker vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine today. "This is just that one extra layer of protection that we have," she said.  "More so, not working there. It's more so going home to our families." 

Masoe said being vaccinated was a way the Jet Park workers could help the country.

"It is a big thing for us working at the facility but it's a greater gift for us to serve our nation," she said.