Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced further details of our vaccine rollout, revealing when New Zealanders can expect to receive their vaccine and details of when a new type of vaccine will be added to our arsenal.
Saying that "everyone will have the chance to be vaccinated", Ardern called on the team of five million to do their part in the vaccine rollout, just as they have done in the different Covid 19 lockdowns.
"This is about whānau, looking out for each other and ensuring everyone is safe."
She said the vaccination programme started by targeting those at high risk, including front line workers at the border.
Other higher risk groups including those aged 65 or over were also continuing to get vaccinated.
The country was nearing completing 1 million vaccine doses, she said.
From the end of July the country would enter a new phase of the progamme when New Zealand received the bulk of its vaccines.
That would allow the programme to broaden "considerably", Ardern said.
However, while more vaccines were coming, they wouldn't all arrive at once.
The bulk should arrive by the end of October, Ardern said.
They would come in weekly shipments and that meant the vaccine programme would be staggered.
Under 35s to wait until October
The rollout would start by working from the oldest members of the population down to younger members, with priority for the over 65s.
"We've landed on age bands because it is the simplest process used overseas," Ardern said.
The first age band is people aged 60 years and over, starting from July 28.
The next age band will be 55 and over, starting on August 11.
The 35s and over will be from mid-September, while everyone else will follow in age bands from October.
People were generally at greater risk the older they were.
When the vaccine programme reached each new phase and age band, those within the age band would receive an invitation, Ardern said.
The online invitation would guide people through the process of how to book their vaccine. There would also be a phone line service for those who did not wish to use online services.
People would be asked to complete their second jab within three weeks of receiving their first and this was different to many other parts of the world, Ardern said.
"Everyone will have the chance to be vaccinated."
Those worried their details were not up to date could visit a government website from the end of July to update their details.
That would ensure they got their invitation for a vaccination.
The Ministry of Health was also looking to work with big companies to roll out vaccine programmes. Companies such as Fonterra and Mainfreight had already indicated they were willing to assist.
There would also be cases like at the Chatham Islands where it made sense to vaccinate everyone at once.
New vaccine and the need for boosters
Ashley Bloomfield said today that health teams expected to receive doses of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine from August, depending on it being approved by health authorities and Cabinet.
"[It] had been through a lot of testing," he said.
Ardern said it was anticipated that, like the flu vaccine every year, the Covid vaccine programme would also likely need to be updated.
However, Bloomfield said no country or company had yet developed a second updated vaccine for Covid.
But it was expected booster vaccines might be needed.
Ardern said mass vaccine events and large workplaces would also be used to reach Māori and Pasifika communities earlier, along with certain rural and isolated communities.
In the past vaccines couldn't be stored for as long and so vaccinators relied on walk-ins at the end of each day to use up leftover vaccines.
However, approval had been granted to store vaccines longer in such circumstances and walk-ins were no longer needed as much or encouraged.
The emphasis was on people booking ahead for vaccines, Bloomfield said.
Ardern said authorities had done planning on the mass vaccine events but she was not ready to reveal where and when they might take place.
Authorities would start by trial running the events, which could vaccinate thousands of people in one day.
Opening our borders
Ardern said New Zealand was watching closely how other countries opened up to travel as their vaccination programmes reached different stages.
New Zealand epidemiologists were also studying and modelling the issue, she said.
Ardern said having as many people vaccinated as possible was the most important point. This would give the country the greatest freedom possible.
"If we have as many as possible vaccinated, that reduces risk and gives us a chance to change things at our border," she said.
Experts were currently discussing when borders could be opened.
While other countries were writing their rule books now about how to do this, New Zealand still had to write its own rule book because of its earlier Covid elimination strategy.
Ardern said a large proportion of countries, especially within the European Union, were only opening up to travellers who had been vaccinated.
Stewart Island case
A person on Stewart Island is believed to have returned a weak positive Covid-19 result.
Ashley Bloomfield confirmed today that the person was a child and the case was a suspected false positive.
The Ministry of Health said a person with an "indeterminate test result" for Covid on Stewart Island was under investigation to determine whether they are a case or not.
A subsequent repeat test was negative.
The results of serology testing were due later today to help provide more information.
"While the investigation is under way, as a precaution, a local childcare centre is being closed for the rest of the week," the ministry said.
"Public Health staff have so far been unable to identify any likely source of infection and given the relative isolation of the community, health authorities currently believe that it is most likely that the person is not a case.
"Given the isolated nature of the community the DHB is putting additional staff on the ground in Stewart Island today to provide testing, primarily for those in the community with symptoms and for anyone linked to the childcare centre."
Any local residents seeking testing are expected to be able to be accommodated. Results from the additional tests are expected today.
Two new cases in MIQ
Meanwhile, there are two new Covid-19 cases in managed isolation reported today but none in the community.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two.
Since January 1 there have been 76 historical cases, out of a total of 541 cases.
Our total number of confirmed cases is 2357.
Middlemore Hospital cases
The Ministry of Health has also provided an update on the two people who were admitted to Middlemore Hospital with Covid-19.
Both have now been discharged and taken back to Auckland's quarantine facility.
Travel bubble pause extended
Earlier today, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins also confirmed the pause on quarantine-free travel with the Australian state of Victoria has been extended for another five days.
With the risk of the Covid-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne decreasing, public health officials considered it was "unlikely there is further widespread community transmission in the state".
The pause was in place until 11.59pm today, but Hipkins said a short extension to 11.59pm Tuesday was "in line with our precautionary approach".
Anyone who is eligible can continue returning on "green flights", meaning they will not be required to isolate when they arrive home. However, they must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure. A PCR test is required.
All passengers travelling on a return green flight must also complete the Nau Mai Rā contact information and complete the health declaration to confirm they have not visited a location of interest.
Travellers who are not covered by the restrictions in Victoria and who have not visited a location of interest at the times specified, can still travel quarantine free from other states and will not require a pre-departure test.
All travellers to New Zealand are encouraged online and in airports to download and use the NZ COVID-19 Tracer app, stay put if they are sick, and to wear a mask on all flights and public transport.
Locations of interest - Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales
As of 9am today, Australian health authorities have listed almost 200 locations of interest in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
Anyone who was at a location of interest at the specified times cannot travel to New Zealand within 14 days of the exposure event.
Anyone at these locations of interest at the specified times should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get tested and self-isolate until they return a negative result.
The Ministry of Health is urging New Zealanders who've been in Victoria, regional New South Wales or regional Queensland to check the following websites to determine whether they were at any of the locations of interest:
Meanwhile, MIQ joint head Brigadier Rose King confirmed the MIQ breaches by a group of 12 people were "incredibly disappointing".
The 12 were involved in three managed isolation and quarantine breaches at the Crowne Plaza on Sunday night.
They were now awaiting the results of a 48-hour post-breach swab and will remain isolated until it comes back negative.
They arrived from Samoa on June 11.
Second Sydney Case
Meanwhile, health authorities in Sydney now have their second confirmed case of Covid-19 after a man in the eastern suburbs tested positive.
Authorities were now scrambling to determine how the man in his 60s contracted the virus.
He worked as a driver which included transporting international flight crew.
The state's last locally acquired Covid-19 cases were in May, when a husband and wife, who were also from the eastern suburbs, tested positive to the virus.