Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has told MPs this morning he is "confident and can reassure New Zealanders" that the workforce to administer the Covid vaccine rollout will be ready.
Bloomfield updated MPs on New Zealand's Covid response via Zoom this morning, as he has a "bit of a head cold" and is working from home.
He said the Government's vaccine safety campaign had a "soft launch" this weekend and would be ramped up soon.
Bloomfield said the ministry would "absolutely" approach the likes of All Blacks and other sports stars to help with the campaign.
The campaign would be focused on using "trusted" members of the public who can talk up the science and safety of the vaccines.
Bloomfield said more than 1000 people have now been trained to administer the Pfizer vaccine, including a number of retired health professionals who were keen to come back to the workforce to help give the vaccines.
Bloomfield said he was "confident and can reassure New Zealanders" that the workforce to administer the vaccine rollout will be ready.
Earlier, Dr Nikki Turner, the director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre, briefed MPs on the Pfizer vaccine, how it works and what the international data has shown about its effectiveness and side effects so far.
Turner identified the logistics of the rollout as one of the big challenges for New Zealand, including moves to ensure people felt it was safe.
She said she did not believe concern about the vaccine was as widespread as many believed – and said the term "vaccine hesitancy" was not very useful, saying different people needed different information to make up their minds.
Turner said she did not want to set a target for herd immunity – rather, New Zealand should be striving for the highest level possible. "There is unlikely to be a magic number."
But she warned that Covid-19 would keep coming into New Zealand, adding that the vaccine was not "a magic bullet".
Turner said "many more thousands" of people are ready to be trained to give Covid vaccinations.
She said New Zealand started its vaccine programme later than other countries, but that means officials have been able to observe what has been happening with the rest of the world in terms of how well the vaccine has been working.
And she said she can "hand on heart" say Pfizer is "an outstanding vaccine".
Meanwhile, no new community cases of Covid-19 were reported yesterday but there were two cases in managed isolation.
There were now 95 active cases in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health said.
The two new cases at the border are Kiwis who travelled from India and the United States.
Both tested positive for the infection after day zero routine swabs.
The ministry yesterday reported that four wastewater testing samples — three from a site linked to Papatoetoe and one from a wider wastewater collection point, which includes Papatoetoe — last night returned negative results for Covid.
More information will be provided at 1pm today by Bloomfield and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.