TODAY |

Covid-19 vaccines look promising, but Ardern says it's too soon for any border changes

While Jacinda Ardern says 2021 will be "the year of vaccine", she's not prepared to make any sweeping changes to New Zealander's border systems yet.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The Prime Minister says she needs more time before making any changes at the border, though. Source: 1 NEWS

"It is fair to say that the impact of vaccination will take some time to have effect on the way that we operate our borders and resumption of normal life," the Prime Minister told reporters today, when asked if people would still need to go into managed isolation if they've had a jab.

"The vaccinations that we're seeing, some of the early ones, are not being delivered at a scale that will have significant impact straight off. That will take a little bit more time into 2021.

"But what we're having to do right now is plan: At what point can we have enough confidence around a full vaccination programme that it will substantively change our arrangements at the border?"

When Ardern was asked today if she would consider making it mandatory for people to get a vaccination before boarding a flight to New Zealand, she again said it was too early to make any big decisions.

"Very much our goal has to be to be in a position where you have that level of immunity that we're able to safely go about our lives day-to-day and so that's a question I would want to discuss more fully," she said.

Ardern said she would be working through different strategies for managing New Zealand's borders when vaccinations are rolled out.

"Ultimately, though, 2021 will be the year of vaccine," she said.

The Government has agreed to buy vaccines from Pfizer and Janssen, subject to the competing jabs successfully completing clinical trials and passing necessary approvals in New Zealand.

The Government has agreed to purchase five million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Janssen, and 1.5 million doses of Pfizer's, which requires a double dose.