Jacinda Ardern says vaccine campaign will be educational so sceptics know it's safe

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the COVID-19 vaccination campaign will focus on education, so people who are hesitant about the vaccine know it's safe.

In her first post-Cabinet briefing of 2021, Ardern told reporters she is aware that a small part of the population is sceptical of the incoming COVID-19 vaccines - but that she has a plan to put them at ease.

"It can be overcome. People want to have confidence, they want to know we've gone through our processes and that's why it's important we do."

She says skeptics want "as much information as possible".

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

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

The first of New Zealand's three vaccines is expected to be rolled out before the end of the first quarter of 2021 - before the end of March for border workers. The general population will start receiving jabs in the second half of the year.

The update from Ardern's office said the Government "acknowledges that there is international pressures for Pfizer and BioNTech to prioritise countries that have serious community transmission of COVID-19".

The Government has set aside almost $1 billion from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines. It will be New Zealand's largest immunisation rollout ever.