There has been "overwhelming support" from patients after it was announced New Zealand would soon begin rolling out the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, according to New Zealand Medical Association chairwoman Dr Kate Baddock.
Yesterday, medical regulator Medsafe granted provisional approval for the vaccine to be used in New Zealand, and administered with two doses for anyone over the age of 16.
Those first in line for the jab will be those on the frontline to the nation's Covid-19 defence, including health workers, border workers and their families, as well as those most at risk of dying with Covid-19.
The broader community is expected to be able to receive the vaccine in the second half of this year.
But the vaccine is not mandatory so there will be some who choose not to get it.
"I think that what we need to appreciate is that this has been seen to be a safe and effective vaccine," Baddock told Breakfast this morning.
"It is absolutely the next step in dealing with Covid-19 and the pandemic so I think that everybody who is concerned about vaccination should look for themselves at the evidence, should talk to those who are experts in the area and be reassured that this has gone through a very rigorous process, both overseas and here, to ensure that this is in fact the next best step for combating Covid-19."
Baddock said there had been "overwhelming support for just bringing it on" from her patients.
"They are certainly understanding of the need to protect the border force first and patiently waiting their turn for vaccination," she said.
"There have been the occasional person who's asked my personal opinion as to whether or not I think that it's a good thing or not, but I haven't actually had anybody who has said that they were not going to have the vaccine."