Wellington, Dec 17 (IANS) The New Zealand government will buy Covid-19 vaccines from pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Novavax, enough to deliver the vaccine to all of New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday.
The new agreements will secure access to 7.6 million doses from AstraZeneca – enough for 3.8 million people, and 10.72 million doses from Novavax – enough for 5.36 million people, Xinhua news agency said.
Both vaccines require two doses, according to a government statement.
The four pre-purchase agreements received to date are 750,000 courses from Pfizer / BioNTech; five million courses from Janssen; 3.8 million courses from Oxford University / AstraZeneca; and 5.36 million courses from Novavax, the statement said.
“Our strategy is to purchase different types of technology, to ensure that if some of them are found in development or in trials without being a successful option, we will have other options available,” Ardern said.
“We now have agreements with four providers, covering three different types of vaccine technology and we have received more than enough doses for our entire population as well as the Minch.”
The AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines complement the other purchases, and are compatible with New Zealand ‘s existing infrastructure and storage facilities, she said.
“If proven safe and effective by New Zealand’s pharmaceutical regulator, they will provide widespread public coverage to New Zealand and our Pacific neighbors,” Ardern said.
This is the largest vaccine rollout in New Zealand ever.
Most countries are embracing the process to complete all of 2021 and part of 2022 because of scale and complexity, also because of production and delivery schedules, the Prime Minister said fa-near.
“Our first priority is to vaccinate frontline and critical workers who are most at risk for receiving Covid-19. We expect to deliver vaccines to frontline workers. in the second quarter of 2021, “she said, adding that public immunization will begin in the second half of the year.
“We are moving as fast as we can, but we also want to make sure that the vaccine is safe for New Zealand. “
The country’s total caseload and death tax burden are at 2,100 and 25, respectively.