Coronavirus: Simon Bridges 'pulling pants down' as soon as he's eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

National MP Simon Bridges says he won't hesitate to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as he's eligible.

"I'll be pulling my pants down before you can say Jiminy Cricket," the National MP told The AM Show on Friday, prompting laughter in the studio.

"That was not in the script, let's keep moving," he added.

The first Kiwis to get the vaccine - which actually goes in the arm, like most other vaccines - will be lining up on Friday. About 100 trained vaccinators will get their first jab ahead of Saturday's rollout to frontline border workers. 

The hope is by vaccinating those most at risk of catching it off people arriving from overseas with the virus, future outbreaks in the community - and lockdowns - will be prevented. There's no hard evidence yet that being vaccinated stops you being a carrier, but most experts consider it highly likely it'll reduce the chance of transmission. 

"I think it's really important - it's going to stop us yo-yoing, and if we want to get the borders open - which so many will - it's really important," said Bridges. "There are people who are sceptical. I just urge the Government, they want to be doing everything they can to say you know, it's the right thing to do, it's safe, let's get on with it."

Labour MP David Parker will also be lining up once he's eligible.

"We stand in the queue with everyone else, but as soon as it's available for people in my situation, I'll be getting it."

He said there's no reason to fear this particular vaccine - or any others approved by Medsafe in the future, saying we've "all had jabs" before without issue.

"It's why we don't get polio these days. Already millions of people have had this vaccine around the world and there haven't been problems."

Adverse reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine - the first to be rolled out in New Zealand - have been minimal, and in line with previous vaccines, despite its uniquely new mRNA technology. 

While it appears to work just as well against the highly infectious UK variant of the virus, there are worrying signs it might not be as effective against the South African mutation

But in better news, even just one dose appears to give more than 90 percent protection, according to a new study - perhaps justifying the UK's controversial plan to give as many people a first dose as possible, and delaying the second.