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New Zealand plans to start Covid vaccinations next week

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New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the country's Covid-19 inoculation programme is likely to begin on 20 February.

The date was brought forward by the earlier receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine than originally anticipated. Pressure has been mounting on Ms Ardern to start vaccinations for the country's 5 million people to take advantage of its rare position of having virtually eliminated the virus domestically.

She told reporters: "Last year we indicated the vaccine would arrive in quarter two, and earlier this year we updated that to quarter one. "It's pleasing to be receiving doses this early in quarter one." Both New Zealand and neighbouring Australia have formally approved the vaccine jointly developed by US

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