Australians have been warned coronavirus vaccines will not trigger wholesale changes to restrictions when the rollout ramps up in coming months.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd is tempering expectations that jabs will lead to life returning to pre-pandemic settings after the Pfizer vaccine was approved for use in Australia.
The two major unknowns are whether coronavirus vaccines prevent transmission of the virus and if booster shots will be needed each year, similar to the flu.
"That just reinforces for us how important it's going to be - even though we might get the vaccine rolling out across Australia - that people still adhere to the public health measures," Professor Kidd told ABC radio on Tuesday.
Social distancing, hygiene measures and other rules, as well as international travel restrictions, are likely to remain throughout the year.
Australia has enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which recorded a 95 per cent efficacy rate in late-stage trials, for about five million people.
Aged care and disability residents will be among the first to receive it with the program set to start in late February, two weeks after the first 80,000 doses are due to arrive.
Workers in quarantine, borders, frontline healthcare, and residential aged care and disability are also in the first phase.
The bulk of Australians are likely to receive the AstraZeneca jab, which has a lower efficacy rate of around 70 per cent.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison insists the strategy is going ahead as anticipated despite the target of four million people being vaccinated by March being delayed.
"There'll be the odd bumps here and there with production schedules overseas," he told 2GB radio.
Mr Morrison said Australia paid a premium to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine in Melbourne
"It means that our vaccination programme will not be completely hostage to the production schedules of countries overseas, that sovereign capability to produce the vaccine here we made a high priority."
Labor has criticised the government's vaccine portfolio, arguing it is narrower than world's best practice of five to six different drugs.
"The federal government's put too many eggs in too few baskets when it comes to vaccines," opposition health spokesman Chris Bowen told the ABC.
Mr Bowen has also raised concerns about the delay between approval and the first jabs being administered.
"Australia is far from the first in the queue. It's been operation definitely not warp speed in Australia."
Prof Kidd rejected concerns about a two-tiered immunisation program, insisting both would stop deaths.
"What we know from the clinical trials is that both of the vaccines are very effective at preventing serious disease and of course the risk of death from COVID-19," he said.
"That is the most important issue."
Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand has been suspended for 72 hours after a woman tested positive for a highly contagious virus strain found in South Africa.
The decision was met with surprise by Kiwi leader Jacinda Ardern, who told Mr Morrison the situation was "well under control".
Ms Ardern told reporters it would make it harder for NZ to allow Australians to travel across the Tasman without quarantining for two weeks, because of the risk that border rules could change under short notice.
Australian Associated Press