Tokelau Receives First Delivery of COVID-19 Vaccine

The first leg of a 5000 nautical mile trip to transport Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to the three atolls of Tokelau is complete. The New Zealand Defence Force released its statement today reporting that the HMNZS Wellington successfully delivered the vaccine consignment to Fakaofo, Nukunonu, and Atafu. Tokelau is the last of the Realm countries to start its vaccine roll out, that kicked off today.

HMNZS Wellington Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Pip Davies says the weather provided some challenges to the delivery.

“The weather hasn’t been entirely straightforward but with the flexible capabilities provided by both the helicopter and the ship’s boats, we have been able to deliver the vaccines to all three atolls safely. This 5000 nautical mile journey is no small undertaking and demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to our neighbours in Tokelau.”

HMNZS Wellington will transit to Palmerston Island in the Northern Cook Islands to deliver enough doses for the 40-strong eligible population, before making a logistics stop in Rarotonga.

The ship is due back in New Zealand at the beginning of August.

Image credit: Covid-19 vaccines delivered by Royal NZ Navy personnel to Nukunonu Atoll. NZ Defence Force