The Government will purchase COVID-19 vaccines from pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Novavax, meaning every New Zealander will be able to be vaccinated. The new agreements 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. Both vaccines require two doses to be administered.
The four pre-purchase agreements secured to date are:
- 750,000 courses from Pfizer/BioNTech;
- 5 million courses from Janssen;
- 3.8 million courses from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca; and
- 5.36 million courses from Novavax.
If proven to be safe and effective by New Zealand’s pharmaceuticals regulator Medsafe, they will provide broad population coverage for New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours.
This will be New Zealand’s largest immunisation roll out ever. Most countries are factoring the roll out to take all of 2021 and some of 2022 to complete due to its scale and complexity, also due to production and delivery timeframes. New Zealand’s first priority will be to vaccinate border workers and essential staff who are at the greatest risk of getting COVID-19. The Government expects vaccines to be delivered to front line workers in the second quarter of 2021.
The aim is to then commence vaccination of the general public in the second half of the year. All vaccine roll out will be dependent on Medsafe sign off, which is being streamlined, and speed of manufacture.