NZ receives largest shipment of Pfizer vaccine ahead of schedule
New Zealand has received its largest shipment of the Pfizer vaccine two days ahead of schedule, and its doses are already being sent to vaccination centres around the country.
“The shipment of more than 370,000 doses reached New Zealand yesterday, following a complex logistical exercise carried out jointly by Pfizer, DHL and the Ministry of Health’s logistics team,” COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
“The arrival came after some dedicated work got the vaccines onto an earlier than expected connecting freight flight from Singapore. The Ministry’s logistics team then worked through the weekend to coordinate with the flight schedule and be ready for the vaccine’s arrival into Auckland International Airport.”
The Pfizer vaccines were processed immediately at the Auckland depot, ensuring the smooth and efficient delivery of the vaccines to district health board sites where the stock buffer was the smallest.
Minister Hipkins said the work done by the logistics team ensured that everything was set up for delivery to other sites first thing this morning.
Fifteen health board sites have already received shipments from the newly arrived stock yesterday. Meanwhile, 104 sites are expected to receive stocks of the vaccine by today, a day earlier than planned.
“Teams on the ground in DHBs have been managing their stocks but towards the end of last week, margins were again getting tight in some of our larger population areas,” Minister Hipkins said.
“This big delivery – with further significant shipments to arrive during the final two weeks of July and into August – is a massive boost for the national programme.”
With the demand for vaccines increases, the New Zealand Government intends to roll out as many vaccines to the populace as quickly as they can. The country is currently 6 per cent ahead of its plan to vaccinate all citizens.
This momentum is set to continue over the remainder of July and into August, with Pfizer having committed to deliver more than 1.5M doses into New Zealand next month.
“That’ll represents our biggest monthly delivery to date and is fantastic news for the ongoing ramp up of our roll-out,” Minister Hipkins said.
“We’ll continue to manage and monitor vaccine supplies coming into the country against increasing demand as the vaccination programme gathers momentum.”