A senior World Health Organisation official last week offered some advice relevant to New Zealand given our Covid-free status outside quarantine facilities.
"For those of you who have the virus under control: Do not lose control. Look at what other countries are suffering, as they have lost control of the virus", said Dr Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme.
"So, if you're in a low-incidence or a zero-incidence situation: Keep it up. It is worth the effort."
With fast-spreading coronavirus variants banging on the door, New Zealand has a lot to lose should a mutant strain sneak in.
The country is in a rather scary holding pattern until vaccines become available. As epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said: it's a dangerous period.
So it is good news the country's 10,000 border workers may be vaccinated slightly earlier than expected.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the plan is for the workers to get vaccinated sometime in March rather than April when the official start is due to begin for phase one of the programme.
"I am absolutely confident that the day they land, we will roll out the border worker vaccinations."
Any speeding up of the process of protecting the people most at risk is welcome. Eighteen cases were reported at the border over two days last week.
Authorities appear to be taking a more nuanced approach here - trying to plug any gaps in the country's border strategy generally, but allowing the low-risk one-way Cook Islands travel bubble.
All passengers from the US and Britain now require a pre-boarding coronavirus test and they are tested again on arrival.
At the weekend, the world passed two million deaths from Covid-19.
The UK variant is know to spread fast and so put more pressure on health systems. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention expects it to become the dominant strain in the United States by March. It's an extra headache on top of a messy US vaccine rollout.
Scientists are worried that variants in Brazil and South Africa are more effective against coronavirus antibodies, making reinfections more likely.
Last week it was reported that the Queensland state government was considering using regional mining camps to house returned travellers. A cluster at a Brisbane quarantine hotel involving six people with the UK variant involved the virus reportedly jumping between four guests and a cleaner on the same hotel floor.
India started one of the world's biggest vaccination programmes at the weekend, aiming to immunise 300 million people.
In Europe, about a third of the 27 EU governments said they had "insufficient" vaccine doses, Reuters reported.
Britain is stepping up its travel requirements; people now have to test negative before travelling to the UK.
The British Government's chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said it was likely the current vaccines would provide protection against variants. He added: "The question is to what degree."
Vallance said that it was easy for vaccines to be adjusted.
As we wait for the vaccine rollout, the WHO's Ryan advises that countries stick to what works.
New variants are almost like "a substitution in second half of a football game", he said.
"It gives the virus some new energy, some new impetus, it adds to the challenge you face … It doesn't change the rules of the game. It doesn't change what we need to do to win."