WELLINGTON, N.Z. — New Zealand’s medical regulator has approved its first coronavirus vaccine, and officials hope to begin giving shots to border workers by the end of March.
New Zealand has no community transmission of the virus, and border workers are considered the most vulnerable to catching and spreading the disease because they deal with arriving travelers, some of whom are infected.
Regulators on Wednesday gave provisional approval for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for people aged 16 and over.
However, New Zealand’s success in stamping out the virus also means it will need to wait longer than many other countries to get vaccine doses for the general population. Officials say they hope to begin general inoculations by midyear.