New Zealand is donating further vaccines to COVAX and has commenced roll-out of Pfizer’s paediatric COVID vaccine in Polynesia, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today.
“Widespread vaccination saves lives. It is critical to reducing the risk of new variants emerging and setting us all on a path to recovery. Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to ensuring developing countries have access to the vaccines they need to protect against COVID-19,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
New Zealand is contributing a further 7.3 million vaccines to COVAX including 5.8 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1.5 million doses of Janssen vaccine. This brings the total volume of New Zealand vaccine donations to COVAX to 9.7 million doses.
“Our latest, fully-funded dose donation to COVAX will also support vaccination programmes in developing countries, including in parts of the Pacific and in Africa where immunisation rates are low,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
This donation is supported by a grant contribution of $5.1 million to cover the cost of safe injection equipment and other ancillary costs. COVAX will allocate the doses to developing countries and deliveries will commence later this month.
These donations are additional to a total of $26 million in funding contributions made to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment over the last two years.
“COVAX is doing vital work to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are readily available for all. Aotearoa New Zealand was an early donor to COVAX and we remain strongly supportive of their important work,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
Through New Zealand’s Advance Purchase Agreement (APA) with Pfizer, paediatric vaccine doses are also being provided to countries in Polynesia. The roll out of these doses has already commenced in Niue and the Cook Islands and planning is underway for donations to Samoa, Tonga and Tokelau.
“We must do all we can to increase vaccine uptake everywhere, and Aotearoa New Zealand is playing its part. Our support for roll-out of paediatric vaccines in Polynesia is part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring our Pacific whānau have access to the vaccines they need,” Aupito William Sio said.
New Zealand has also already provided over 200,000 Pfizer doses from our APA to Cook Islands, Tokelau, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, in addition to the support announced today.