Auckland's top health officials are apologising to anyone who was stuck in queues at vaccination centres this morning, but are confident they can keep delays to a minimum.
It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern receives a strong message from an Auckland iwi leader to ensure consultation with Māori on vaccination is done appropriately.
In Auckland by 1pm today, over 3,200 children received their first dose to get immunised against Covid-19. Meanwhile, at Papakura Marae, just over 30 under 11-year-olds were vaccinated every hour since the gates opened at 10am.
Parents hoping to get their children vaccinated at a brand new drive-through centre in Wairau Valley on Auckland's North Shore waited more than an hour as demand overwhelmed traffic management plans this morning.
People who arrived early were told to wait in a car park next to Eventfinda Stadium ahead of the centre's opening at 9am.
However, cars who arrived later began to queue on the road leading up to the site, leading some traffic management staff to advise parents in the car park they would have to join the back of the queue.
One parent, who had arrived prior to 9am, told the Herald the system was like a "dog's breakfast".
Fortunately, staff navigated their way through the issue, filtering those who had come early into the existing queue close to the front of the line.
Traffic problems persisted later into the morning as cars leaving the centre following vaccination clashed with those entering the premises for the stadium's summer programmes.
"We're really sorry that they had to wait, especially in the heat," Auckland Covid vaccination programme clinical lead Dr Anthony Jordan said.
Due to the demand, the North Shore site increased its capacity to administer more paediatric vaccinations. By midday, staff had reduced the wait to about 38 minutes.
Jordan said queuing prior to opening was expected and encouraged people to plan their journey for later in the day.
"I know it's sunnier but by that time, things have started to quicken up and those queues move a lot faster."
For those not willing to risk being caught in a queue, Jordan advised choosing to get vaccinated at a GP, pharmacy or centre that accepted walk-ins.
"If a car is not a place where you feel comfortable being in, especially in this weather, book into one of our sites," he said.
Today marked the start of vaccinations for 5-to-11-year-olds, with many parents taking their children along to get their first paediatric dose, which measured about a third of the adult dose.
Mum Paula Beguely and her two daughters Harriet (8) and Charlotte (5) were excited and nervous as they waited in line at the North Shore vaccination centre this morning.
Paula said the family had kept socially distant up until now because Charlotte lived with Down syndrome and was immunocompromised.
"We're very glad we can get [the vaccine]," Paula said.
Alongside childhood vaccinations, many people who had gone at least four months following their second dose arrived at vaccination sites for their booster shots.
Among them was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who received her booster at the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei-led vaccination site in St Johns.
Iwi whai māia Rangimarie Hunia urged Ardern to ensure iwi were part of the planning process for vaccination, as opposed to having to react to Government policy implemented without proper consultation.
"We have to do whatever we can do to keep our babies safe," Hunia said.
Speaking to media, Ardern said further contacts of the MIQ worker who had tested positive with the Omicron variant recently had tested negative.
She wouldn't speculate on when Omicron was expected to break into the community. Previously, Auckland health officials have stated they were preparing for an outbreak in the next two to three weeks.
A group of people against vaccinating children with the Covid vaccine had travelled to the North Shore centre today.
Asked about those protesters, Ardern hoped they wouldn't prevent anyone from receiving their vaccine.
"My preference would be that no one would have any barrier or obstruction in accessing what is ultimately a medical support."
She noted it was a responsibility of police to keep vaccination sites safe from any protest action.
A police spokesperson confirmed officers were present at the North Shore centre but had not found any issues.
Elsewhere in the country, there had been a group of about 13 protesters at a site in New Plymouth, but that prompted no issues, according to the spokesperson.