New Zealand may start administering vaccines to people as they wait in queues for fast food

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File. New Zealand is eyeing ‘takeaway fix’ as one of its vaccination strategies to reach as many people as possible (Getty Images)
File. New Zealand is eyeing ‘takeaway fix’ as one of its vaccination strategies to reach as many people as possible (Getty Images)

In a win-win, delicious incentive for all, New Zealand may soon allow people to pick up their fast food order and get a Covid-19 jab alongside as the country increases efforts to vaccinate its population.

Deputy prime minister Grant Robertson confirmed that the administration was eyeing “takeaway fix” as one of its strategies to reach as many people as possible.

“There’s been discussions about that under level-3 [lockdown], we know Aucklanders are going to be excited about getting their takeaway fix... that could be used as a possibility,” Mr Robertson told Radio New Zealand.

It will soon be a reality once the logistics are in place, the minister said.

“There’s a few logistics to work through, one of which is obviously making sure that people wait,” Mr Robertson said. “When someone gets the vaccines, as you know you wait in the waiting room to make sure everything’s going okay.”

But, he added: “Just getting the logistics of it right and a queue with fast food can be a little bit challenging but we are looking through options and not just fast food but in other places people would be going.”

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said vaccinations were the “golden ticket” to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic in the island nation.

New Zealand should aim for a vaccination rate of at least 90 per cent, Ms Ardern said. “If that rate [of vaccinations] is high enough, then we will be able to move away from lockdowns as a tool.”

So far, nearly 62 per cent people in New Zealand have had at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and some 40 per cent have been vaccinated completely with two doses. The relatively slow and sluggish start of inoculations was criticised by experts and opposition leaders in the country.

New Zealand had largely eliminated Covid last year and had remained virus-free for months. It reported its first case since February on 17 August, prompting Ms Ardern to impose a strict lockdown.

Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, entered its sixth week of lockdown as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread in spite of tough government restrictions. All recent community infections, including the 15 new cases on Thursday, have been reported from the city.

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