COVID-19 vaccine: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern defends New Zealand jab rollout after another border worker tests positive

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is defending New Zealand's COVID-19 vaccine rollout after another border worker tested positive for the virus.

The latest case, reported on Sunday, is a Grand Millennium managed isolation (MIQ) worker. It appears they caught the virus from a colleague who hadn't received their vaccination. 

Officials say they both pose a low risk to the community due to already being in isolation, but it remains unclear if the latest case had been vaccinated. 

The recent border cases have prompted questions from Opposition parties, who say they're "deeply concerned" and worried whether vaccination targets will be met. Asked if the vaccine rollout was too slow, Ardern told The AM Show more than 80 percent of frontline and MIQ workers had been inoculated.

She said she was "generally" satisfied with the vaccine rollout.

"We've always been up-front about the fact that when you are doing something New Zealand has never done before, and when you look around the world at vaccination rollouts everywhere - nowhere has it been straightforward.

"We're at 95 percent of where we expected to be right now." 

But nearly every other country in the OECD is now ahead of New Zealand with COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, with only Japan lagging behind. 

Ardern insisted New Zealand is not far from being on target.

"Where we projected overall to be, we're pretty close to being on track there.

"We do have [a] dedicated workforce in our vaccination centres - those centres are growing."  

Jacinda Ardern.
Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

Meanwhile, she was unable to say if the latest border-related case had been vaccinated.

Ardern said the deadline is nearing for managed isolation and quarantine workers to get the jab - the end of April - or people risk being moved on to other jobs.

"The expectation is that there will be no one not vaccinated, working on the frontline, by the beginning of May."

Ardern said the Government would keep growing its vaccination workforce as the rollout advances.