The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, just got his flu and Covid vaccinations and he wants everyone to do the same!
From Saturday, more people are eligible for the Covid-19 bivalent vaccine, which protects against two strains of coronavirus.
Mr. Hipkins got his injections at a community vaccination event in Upper Hutt on Saturday morning, along with Health Minister Ayesha Verrall. He says it’s important eligible people get the jabs before winter arrives.
“It will actually leave them better prepared for the winter season, help to ease pressure on the health system as well,” he said.
The Health Minister, Dr. Ayesha Verrall, also received both injections this morning and said many people would be able to get their flu and Covid booster shots at the same time. She also said that there were currently more than 700,000 Covid vaccines and 800,000 flu jabs in the country, with more due to arrive.
Last year, a combination of Covid and flu added to the strain on New Zealand’s hospitals. So, people should get the flu vaccine and Covid booster to try and help avoid that this year, she said.
The Covid booster is free of charge for people aged 65 and over, Māori and Pacific people aged 50 and over, pregnant people and those most likely to get very sick with the flu. The flu vaccine is also free for many people.