The deal is subject to a vaccine that successfully completes all clinical trials and passes regulatory approval. Photos / files
The government has signed a deal to buy 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people.
The deal will allow the purchase of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, depending on the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approval in New Zealand, said Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins.
“Our first vaccine purchase agreement has been signed and yields some important work going on behind the scenes to keep New Zealand safe from Covid-19,” Woods said.
“As part of the agreement, vaccine deliveries to New Zealand could be made as early as the first quarter of 2021. This is just the first phase of work in a multi-pronged approach to ensure we secure a vaccine for New Zealand.
Woods said: “Pfizer says they are making good progress with the development of a Covid-19 vaccine. Depending on clinical and regulatory success, and provided the vaccine is approved for use in New Zealand by Medsafe, it is likely that multiple doses will be available to us in the first half. year 2021. “
The government signed a $ 27 million agreement with the Covax Facility last month that will allow New Zealand to purchase a successful vaccine from a variety of candidates.
Decisions about who will receive access to the first available vaccine still have to be made, the Government said.
“Work at the Ministry of Health is currently being done to determine what the launch of the Immunization Program will look like. A number of factors will influence who will receive what vaccine and when, such as experimental data on the suitability of each vaccine for a particular age. group, “says Hipkins.
“We have set aside $ 66.3 million for medical supplies and infrastructure to ensure New Zealand is ready to launch the Covid-19 Immunization Program as soon as we have a safe and effective vaccine.
“Most of this investment will finance sufficient supplies to support the countries of New Zealand and the Pacific; supplies such as PPE, syringes, syringes and swabs, and refrigerators to store vaccines,” said Hipkins.