The first person to get a Covid-19 vaccine was an elderly woman, Margaret Keenan, in Britain last December.
It was the first of 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the United Kingdom distributed in the initial phase of its rollout.
Exactly five months later, lenty of New Zealanders of a similar age group, some of whom have had serious health problems, are still waiting for the same type of vaccine.
The Government here, with valid reasons, chose to first focus on border, MIQ and frontline workers, and high-risk areas. But the pace has been slow: many other people who would be vulnerable if exposed to the virus have yet to get vaccine protection.
Hopefully, the country gets through vaccination by the summer without a major outbreak. But any delay is a risk. Vaccine rollout data makes it clear how behind we are. Unless the pace is sharply increased, it could take much longer.
A big outbreak could occur. The transtasman bubble has produced a trail of mini-alarms in a very short amount of time and Fiji has a concerning list of community cases.
Yet there still doesn't seem much urgency, even though Australia has put back its aim to reopen in October. Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan told Sky News last week that it is "very hard to determine" when borders could reopen, and his "best guess would be in the middle to the second half of next year".
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last month that the country doesn't have access to the same amount of vaccines that the United States and the UK do. "That enables them to do the large, mass-scale rollouts that you're seeing in those countries."
Yet it was pretty obvious last spring that vaccines were coming. There was a lot of preparation time. And some countries are managing faster rollouts, which allow quicker reopening.
As of late last week Australia had delivered 2.55 million vaccine doses for a population of 25.7 million. New Zealand had managed 304,900 since February 21 but hopes to push it to 1,033,848 by June 27.
According to Our World in Data, New Zealand with 4.51 per cent is doing slightly better than the Asia average of 4.42 per cent for the share of population who have had at least one dose. Japan (2.2), Thailand (1.67) and Vietnam (0.69), for instance, are running worse.
The European Union average in comparison is 26.4 per cent. For some European countries of similar size to New Zealand the percentages are: Finland (32); Ireland (30) and Norway (26.3). Ireland's figures on Friday were 1,591,888 total jabs administered including 1,138,738 of the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that we are using.
One of the great ironies of the pandemic is that countries that weathered the original storm the best are now badly lagging on the chance to seal in immunity. It's vice-versa for the US and UK. Tiny Iceland has managed both quite well with 6500 confirmed virus cases, 29 deaths, and 33.8 per cent of its population having had at least one vaccine dose.
Generally, it seems that the force field of pressure caused by failure last year has, in the US and Europe, created an urgency to get on top of the problem that has been missing here, in Australia and parts of Asia.
They had to deal with mass death, over-run hospitals, lengthy lockdowns and public frustration. The response has included hustling to hoard - too many - vaccine supplies.
Here, we are still waiting out the virus siege with most of us missing a key weapon.