As new daily Covid-19 cases remained steady this week, the Government's focus has increasingly turned to messages about vaccination urgency.
With the rollout moving further through the percentage of people highly motivated to get their shots, it is having to work harder to reach the remainder.
The daily vaccine number has been dropping and was below 50,000 on Wednesday. Vaccination rates have also lagged in ethnic and rural communities.
On Thursday there were explanations of what a high vaccination level would mean in the future. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it "the golden ticket" for the country, perhaps removing the need for level 4 lockdowns. But amid talk of hope, there was also modelling on the high stakes involved.
A point being driven home is that while vaccination is the engine powering the desired outcome for New Zealand, a range of other measures would have to complement it. The calculation presented was simple: the more vaccinations achieved, the fewer restrictions needed.
Covid modeller Professor Shaun Hendy outlined that a combination of at least 90 per cent vaccination and "moderate health restrictions" could allow a more normal existence. Possible approval of the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 would help achieve the goal.
A darker scenario was also presented. At 80 per cent vaccination and basic health measures there would be tens of thousands of hospitalisations from Covid and nearly 7000 coronavirus deaths in a year.
There's time on the side of authorities to get those vaccination numbers up. And everything is now being thrown at it. But with so much at risk, and potential disaster if it goes wrong, the recent rule to scan shop visits will become one mandate among several more, especially if the rollout gets bogged down.
In other countries, mandates are increasingly being considered and introduced to provide an incentive to get vaccinated and as protection from transmission spread.
The United States this week lifted a travel ban from 33 countries - for vaccinated foreigners. A United Airlines vaccine mandate for 67,000 employees has reportedly resulted in 97 per cent getting jabs. All airport workers in San Francisco now have to be vaccinated.
Italy is requiring all workers to have a Covid pass by mid-October. France is suspending a few thousand health workers who failed to get vaccinated by a deadline, out of nearly three million overall. Victoria in Australia is introducing compulsory shots for teachers and has had to deal with ugly protests in Melbourne over vaccine requirements for construction workers.
However, there are psychological sides to mandates that tend to make them work.
If something is voluntary there's no personal incentive to comply. If there's a rule that has to be followed to gain something a person wants, they'll do it. When people hesitantly opposed to something are given an out clause - they were "made" to do it - they can then carry on disagreeing with it afterwards.
When masks were compulsory at train stations in England there was 80 per cent compliance, the BBC reports. Restrictions were lifted on July 19 and now only about 20 per cent of passengers still wear them.
There has to be some doubt as to whether the New Zealand public, unused to the level of infections, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid seen overseas, will get over the vaccine finish line with positive encouragement alone.
Both Hendy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned vaccination certificates as among the health tools expected to be used at some stage. After the Delta outbreak but before, or as part of, reopening? Domestically and/or internationally?
At the start of the week Ardern said that unvaccinated people aged over 65 should stay home for their safety under level 3. It was essentially a vaccine-related mandate push couched in caring terms - get a shot or be at a disadvantage.
Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Wednesday that the question of whether there should be mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers was being considered.
A certain percentage of people will be hard to sway by arguments rather than orders.
Messages delivered on successive days this week amounted to boarding calls for Kiwis to hop on the vaccine train - before it leaves the station.