NZ to receive 1 million Pfizer vaccine doses in July
An estimated 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccine will be delivered to New Zealand in July, doubling the total number of vaccines the country has received to more than 1,900,000.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the new supply of Pfizer vaccines will be enough to fully vaccine almost 1 million New Zealanders.
“This is great news and reassuring to see our vaccine supply ramping up. It shows our plan for what is the biggest and most complex logistical undertaking ever by the health system is on track,” Minister Hipkins said.
The doses will arrive in weekly drops and will ramp up in quantity from mid-July as the NZ Government moves to a wider population rollout.
Minister Hipkins said the incoming Pfizer vaccine will allow the DHBs to keep delivering to their plans and start accelerating their way through Group 3 from mid-July. By Group 4, the vaccination efforts will be significantly ramped up.
Around 20,000 doses a day are currently being administered. At the peak of the vaccination programme in August and September, it is expected that 50,000 doses per day will be administered to the population.
“This will add to the significant momentum already being generated by New Zealand’s vaccine programme,” Minister Hipkins said.
“To date, we’ve fully vaccinated over a quarter of a million people. That is a pleasing milestone. Our strategy has meant we’ve largely avoided having to stretch the time between first and second doses as many countries have.”
There is work currently being done, with the NZ Government setting up more vaccination sites, delivering mass vaccination events and bringing more GPs and pharmacies on board to help with the rollout.
Despite the ongoing effects of the pandemic affecting vaccine delivery schedules, Pfizer has assured New Zealand that their remaining deliveries for 2021 are still on track as their previous deliveries have been.
Aside from vaccinating more Kiwis than the expected amount at this point in time, more than 6,800 vaccinators have completed the necessary training to administer the Pfizer vaccine.
“We have at our disposal one of the best vaccines in the world and starting later next month we will start making it available, for free, to everyone in New Zealand over the age of 16,” Minister Hipkins said.