New Zealand Secures Enough Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Entire Population

New Zealand has secured an additional 8.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on March 8.

Ardern said that the government has signed an advance purchase agreement for the additional doses which will be enough to vaccinate 4.25 million people.

The original agreement was for 1.5 million doses for 750,000 people.

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

“With every person who gets vaccinated, New Zealand gets one step closer to moving away from restrictions to manage COVID-19,” Ardern said.

Ardern added that the vaccines are expected to arrive during the second half of the year.

Ardern also said that the decision to make Pfizer the primary vaccine provider for New Zealand was because it has shown to be 95% effective against COVID-19.

Also, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that the government was looking into delivering the doses of the vaccine that were not used in New Zealand to its neighboring countries in the Pacific.

“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,” Hipkins said.

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

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