About 40 border workers from Christchurch Airport have been vaccinated today.
They included a range of people, such as aviation security workers, cleaners, police, customs workers and health protection officers who screen passengers arriving on international flights.
About 20 per cent of New Zealand's approximately 12,000 border and Managed Isolation & Quarantine (MIQ) workers are based in Canterbury.
"These people play a critical role at the frontline of our continued efforts to keep the virus out of our communities and we're very grateful for their commitment and hard work.
"They're the most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 and it is important that we prioritise their protection," Covid-19 Vaccine Immunisation Programme Clinical Lead Dr Joe Bourne said.
Airport worker Jimmy Wong said the vaccine's given him an immense sense of relief.
He said it provides another layer of protection between him and the virus -- something that's been on his mind as he goes home to his three-month-old baby.
"Being vaccinated means you've got an extra layer of protection."
One airport worker said it felt exactly like the flu jab and was over quickly.
She said she has been cautious about attending big events and now she's excited to go to the movies for the first time in a year.
The national vaccine roll out began on Saturday.
It's expected to take two to three weeks to vaccinate border workers including cleaners, nurses, security staff, customs and border officials, airline staff, hotel workers and all their household contacts.
Healthcare, essential workers and those most at risk will follow in the second quarter of the year.
Dr Nikki Turner, director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre, said it is likely the public would visit a vaccination site or clinic, which each DHB was setting up in its region.
The Herald understands people will need to book before turning up but details are still to be ironed out.