COVID-19: Jacinda Ardern plans to get the vaccine before public

Jacinda Ardern says she wants to reach out to communities that are a bit "hesitant" about the vaccine.
Jacinda Ardern says she wants to reach out to communities that are a bit "hesitant" about the vaccine. Photo credit: Getty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she will not wait until the middle of the year to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Ardern says while it's important for initial supplies to go to border staff and workers at managed isolation facilities, she wants to set an example for the public.

"It didn't feel right to me to be in that [first] cohort, but that doesn't mean I'm going to wait until the middle of the year either," she told the NZ Herald.

"I haven't decided when it will be. There's a balance for me, and being among the first didn't feel right."

On Monday, the Prime Minister told The AM Show she was "torn" over when she will get the vaccine.

"[Border workers] are the greatest risk so I want them protected first but equally I want to send a message it's safe."

In her first post-Cabinet briefing of 2021, Ardern told reporters she wants to reach out to those communities who are a bit "hesitant" and provide them with some reassurance.

"We need to reach out into those communities where they might be a bit hesitant and give them that reassurance," she said in January.

"I think it's our duty to make sure that every member of the team of 5 million knows we have done our homework on their behalf."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison received a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Monday and said it was a "game-changer".

"Today is the beginning of a big game-changer, there's no doubt about that," he said.

"Tens of thousands of people will be coming in tomorrow and I wanted them to know as they went to bed tonight that we have been able to demonstrate our confidence in the health and safety of this vaccination, to let them know that it's good to go.

"I call on my fellow Australians, and I have, by my own example today… to say to you Australians, it's safe, it's important.

"Join us on this Australian path that sees us come out of the COVID-19 pandemic."