A vaccinologist is reminding Kiwis the COVID-19 vaccination rollout doesn't spell the end of the pandemic.
And from Saturday, border staff and their families will be lining up to receive their doses, COVID-19 response minister Chris Hipkins announced earlier this week.
But vaccinologist Dr Helen Petousis-Harris says despite this monumental moment, the vaccine shouldn't change the way we approach the pandemic.
"Please don't stop what you're doing," she said.
"We're going to need to get most of our population protected and also see a lot of this disease beaten down overseas before we can really let up on what we've been doing.
"But this is going to give us a really good extra layer of protection."
The first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived in New Zealand on Monday, weeks ahead of schedule, Hipkins said on Thursday. The 60,000 doses are enough to fully vaccinate 30,000 people. Another 225,000 doses are expected to arrive in March.
Assistant national secretary Annie Newman at E tū - the union which represents border workers - says having a vaccine will just give border workers an extra layer of protection.
"I think it will make a big difference because we know that [personal protective equipment] is not foolproof," she told Newshub.
"This shifts the whole sense of safety into a much more reliable place so I think that people will feel safe now, even though I know that for some people, the vaccine will not be fully effective.
"They'll be a much greater degree of safety for workers who are on the border."
'Could still be contagious'
Michal Tal, an immunologist at Stanford University, says people can still transmit the virus even after being vaccinated.
"A lot of people are thinking that once they get vaccinated, they're not going to have to wear masks anymore," Dr Tal told the New York Times.
"It's really going to be critical for them to know they have to keep wearing masks, because they could still be contagious."
The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 95 percent effective in reducing disease, according to clinical trials. But whether it stopped people from transmitting the virus is not yet known.
But the Prime Minister's 'golden rules' a year ago still stays the same - wash your hands, social distance and stay at home if you feel sick.