According to Kyodo News, Japan announced last month that it had made a deal with Pfizer to buy 144 million shots - but without enough syringes to extract final doses, the country will have to revise the number of deliverable doses to 120 million.
A nurse prepares syringes for a coronavirus vaccination drill in Kawasaki on January 27.
Speaking after a business event this morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government expects to vaccinate this 12,000-strong workforce within two to three weeks.
"At this stage, we are expecting to start offering the vaccine to our border and MIQ workers on February 20, with the first immunisations given out to those working in the Auckland region".
On Wednesday, Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said Cabinet had confirmed the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and preparations are under way to roll out the vaccine once it reaches New Zealand's shores.
The European Commission, the EU executive, said on Thursday it had so far approved all requests for the export of Covid-19 vaccines, including to Japan, after setting up a mechanism to monitor vaccine flows on Jan 30.
Ardern this morning said the first batch was set to arrive on our shores next week, ahead of previous expectations. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8 C, making it easier to handle, but is less effective at around 70%.
The Pfizer vaccine will first be rolled out to border and frontline workers, which include nurses, cleaners and security staff at managed isolation facilities.
Once over-65s have been vaccinated, they will be officially followed by all those over 16 with underlying health conditions, then the over-60s, the over-55s and the over-50s.
Wider vaccination of New Zealand's population is expected in the second half of the year.
"We have pre-purchased enough vaccines to cover all New Zealanders and to do so for free, and the Pacific as well", she said.
"Last year we indicated the vaccine would arrive in quarter two, and earlier this year we updated that to quarter one". It's pleasing to be receiving doses this early in quarter one.
New Zealand Medical Association chairwoman Dr Kate Baddock says the vaccine is the next step in dealing with the pandemic.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said vaccinations would start from the middle of next week.
"We are so lucky that we can run this campaign in a fashion that means we continue to protect every New Zealander without the experience of those life and death situations that so many other countries are experiencing".