COVID-19: Jacinda Ardern takes aim at Australia as she reveals 'Mr Whippy' style vaccine buses for NZ

New Zealand is set to roll out mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Auckland this week.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Northern Regional Health Coordination Centre will launch its first six "Mr Whippy" style vaccination buses on Thursday.

"The initial plan is to take them into areas where we know vaccination numbers have been low or people have not been able to access vaccination services as easily," said Ardern. "The aim is to increase the network from an expected six [buses] on Thursday to 12 over the coming weeks."

Ardern said the vaccination buses are being operated similarly in Australia.

"They have named their outreach clinics 'Jabba the Bus' - I'm sure that we can do better," the Prime Minister said with a smirk. "I haven't got any bus [name] ideas but I'll leave it in the hands of creative New Zealanders," she said, adding the name "Bus-sy McBusface" was out of the question.

Ardern said there was nothing holding back the vaccine rollout and people should book one as soon as they can.

"The vaccine is the best tool in our toolbox our ticket to greater freedoms. The more people who are vaccinated, the fewer restrictions you have to have."

Key COVID-19 vaccination figures 

  • Does administered on Monday - 54,877
  • First doses given on Monday - 34,145
  • Second doses given on Monday - 20,732
  • Total doses administered since start of rollout - 4,380,953.