TAURANGA: New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner on Tuesday received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
"First @covid19nz vaccine jab for @NeilWagner13 in Tauranga today. He's the last of our New Zealand based players to receive the first of two doses ahead of departure to England in May," the official handle of BlackCaps tweeted.
Wagner was the final member of the team to be vaccinated ahead of New Zealand's tour of England. Fifteen members of the 20-player squad have been vaccinated while four players -- Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner are in India for the Indian Premier League (IPL), so they have not been able to take the vaccine yet.
As per a report in stuff.co.nz, Wagner received his first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday at Tauranga Hospital.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is a two-dose jab and it is given at least three weeks apart. It's currently the only Covid-19 vaccine to be given provisional approval by Medsafe for use in New Zealand.
"It was all over pretty quickly and to be honest I didn't really feel a thing. It's reassuring to know that if I do get Covid, my body will know how to fight it," stuff.co.nz quoted Wagner as saying.
New Zealand cricket players are among the small group of athletes who have been approved for an early vaccine through the Government's "reason of national significance" criteria.
Minister for Covid-19 Response, Chris Hipkins had announced the national significance category in March this year, saying it was expected to cover national teams playing in overseas in televised sporting events.
"We're all hugely appreciative of the fact there is a category for international events that are in New Zealand's national interest. This is awesome for both us as players and our fans, and we're determined to make the country proud on the world stage," said Wagner.
"We're really grateful for everything the government has done to this point, firstly in helping us host a safe and successful home summer of international cricket, and now assisting us to access the vaccines in time to tour," he added.
New Zealand will depart for London in mid-May to face England in two Tests and the side will lock horns against India in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final in Southampton from June 18.