Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed details today of how the Covid-19 vaccine rollout will work for the general public, with the Government landing on immunisation timeframes determined by a person's age.
Ardern said they decided on age bands as it was a simple approach used commonly overseas.
The rollout plan for the general public will be staged using age cohorts:
-Age 60 and over from July 28
-Age 55 and over from August 11
-Age 45 and over expected from mid-to-late August
-Age 35 and over expected from mid-to-late September
-Everyone else expected from October.
"That means it would help is manage demand and supply and mean we can communicate nationally when we are ready to start vaccinating the next age band," Ardern said.
"When we announce an age band, they will be able to use our national booking system to book an appointment or contact our national vaccine call centre."
Ardern said that process would start officially with those aged 60 and over on July 28.
"On August 11 New Zealanders aged 55 or over will be able to book a vaccine."
"From here, the rollout is indicative as we wait for exact details from our supplier, but we broadly expect for those aged over 45 years will be looking to open up invitation mid to late August and then for those over 35 years from mid to late September, with everyone else generally being eligible from October."
So far, border and MIQ workers and their household contacts, healthcare workers, those at high risk, certain people who needed to travel overseas and people aged over 65 had been eligible to be vaccinated.
Staggered large shipments of the vaccine were confirmed by Pfizer earlier this month, confirming the general public's rollout from the end of July.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said they are preparing to ramp up to about 350,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses being administered each week, with the peak of the rollout at 70,000 a day.
Dr Bloomfield expected there to be over 800 vaccination sites during the high of the rollout.
Arden said from August, they would also start using worksites for vaccines, especially for those workforces that may be "harder to reach". Fonterra and Mainfreight have already indicated interest.
Mass vaccine events would also be held, focussed on those at high risk or those with equity issues, or rural and isolated areas.
"Remember this is the largest and most complex vaccination campaign New Zealand has ever run," she said.