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Published Wednesday 31 Mar 2021

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine this morning as part of the DHB COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Lower Hutt this morning as part of the DHB COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

The pair became two of the more than 52,000 New Zealanders who had received a dose so far on March 31.

About 16,000 people have already received both their first and second dose, Hipkins said.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins received his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Ropata Health in Lower Hutt on March 31, 2021.

After his jab, Hipkins said he "didn't even feel it".

“It is also a show of support for our frontline health workforce, which has recently begun receiving vaccinations.”

The elected officials visited Ropata Health on March 31 for their first of the two required vaccination doses.

Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall received her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Ropata Health in Lower Hutt on March 31, 2021.

Ropata Health is the vaccination site for patient-facing Hutt Valley DHB staff who are getting vaccinated to protect the community from COVID-19.

Dr Verrall said she was excited to be getting the jab. "If we all go through with the vaccine the whole community will be protected."

The Ministry of Health provided extra doses of the vaccine to Ropata Health, which has enabled more people – including the Ministers – to get protected faster.

There were about 5,500 doses administered yesterday around the country and Hipkins said that number would rise to around 7,000 or 8,000 a day as authorities worked through the border workforce, their families, and then frontline medical staff.

Read more about our COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in our latest pānui.