Enough doses of Covid-19 vaccine for every New Zealander secured by Government

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced the Government has secured an additional 8.5 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Having already ordered 1.5 million doses, the new order means there will be enough to vaccinate every New Zealander.

“The Government has signed an advance purchase agreement for 8.5 million additional doses, enough to vaccinate 4.25 million people. The vaccines are expected to arrive in New Zealand during the second half of the year,” Ardern said.

“This brings our total Pfizer order to 10 million doses or enough for 5 million people to get the two shots needed to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.”

Ardern says the mass-immunisation programme still aims to roll out from the middle of the year.

“The decision to make Pfizer New Zealand’s primary vaccine provider, was based on the fact the Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be about 95 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infection.

“It also means all New Zealanders will have the chance to access the same vaccine.”

Ardern warned it won’t be a matter of having one shot and you’re done.

“This is likely to be something that every year we’ll be asking people to be vaccinated, that’s the way we’ll deal with additional variants.”

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says New Zealand is also working with our Pacific neighbours to rollout vaccines.

“We are committed to ensuring that any doses not needed here are put to good use elsewhere. Options could include delaying delivery to New Zealand, in order to free up supply for other countries in the short-term, or donating spare vaccines to other countries.

“We are also working closely with the Realm countries of Niue, Tokelau, and the Cook Islands, as well as our close neighbours Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu to provide access to our vaccine portfolio and provide wider support for vaccine roll-out,” Hipkins said.