The Prime Minister says proof the vaccine stops transmission could be significant for our border — but it’s not yet known.

The Prime Minister says New Zealand’s early vaccine rollout won’t help the prospect of a trans-Tasman bubble at this stage.
Jacinda Ardern has announced the first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is expected to arrive into the country next week, with vaccinations to start next Saturday.
Early rollout of the vaccine wont bring forward the the trans-Tasman bubble.
In December, Ardern said she hoped a trans-Tasman bubble would be in place by the end of March. However, with fresh outbreaks in Australia, and with concern over the prospect of sudden border closures, that now looks unlikely.
When asked if the early rollout announced today could have an impact on the trans-Tasman bubble, Ardern said: “we just cant say for sure if youre vaccinated youre not at risk of passing on Covid-19 to others.”
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Two early studies published in recent days have indicated the Pfizer vaccine provides “a considerable level of prevention of transmission.” The studies are from Israel, where roughly a third of the population has already been vaccinated with the Pfizer jab.
New Zealand officials are waiting for more data, although Ardern says proving vaccines reduce transmission could eventually change border restrictions.
“That will be a significant step-change if we see that evidence and data emerge, and Im sure that will make a difference to travel in all parts of the world. But at this stage, it wont necessarily make a difference.”
Last month, Ardern said a whole of Australia bubble is looking challenging, and New Zealand may instead focus on individual states.
Since then, Australia has had a number of Covid-19 scares, notably in Western Australia where a five-day snap lockdown was announced after a single case was detected in a hotel quarantine worker, who was also a rideshare driver. Restrictions were lifted last week after no further cases were detected.
In Melbourne, problems at the Holiday Inn quarantine facility has so far led to a cluster of 13 cases.