Monday, June 14, 2021

Cost of vaccination programme revealed

The Government has revealed just how much money it has allocated for the nation’s vaccination programme over the next two years – that figure is $1.4 billion.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the vaccination programme would ensure every New Zealander can receive a free vaccination.

“The COVID-19 vaccination programme is key to securing our economic recovery,” Mr Hipkins said.

“New Zealand will continue to face uncertainties over the coming year as COVID-19 spreads and evolves globally, and it’s critical we keep investing in our health response to keep New Zealanders safe,” he said.

“Effective and ongoing vaccination of the community will also unlock economic opportunities and allow us to safely reopen our borders over time.

“Our health response has been strong and successful so far, but we’re taking nothing for granted. Setting aside $1.4 billion for vaccines and infrastructure means New Zealand is well-placed to meet our COVID-19 challenges head on.

“Of this, more than $1 billion has been allocated for purchasing vaccines and specialist equipment. $964.3 million is for manufacturer advance purchase agreements and the COVAX facility to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. $66.3 million is for specialist vaccine equipment, including purchase of syringes and related vaccine storage facilities and transport.

“We have secured sufficient doses to vaccinate everyone in New Zealand for free and to also support our Pacific neighbours. Additional vaccines deemed safe and effective can be deferred for later use and further donated to support regional recovery.”

He said the remaining $356.9 million had been allocated for technology to support the roll-out, funding for DHBs, ongoing support for Medsafe, and to stand up community immunisation centres.

“This is a massive investment to continue support for what is the biggest single undertaking the health system has ever faced,” the Minister said.

“In addition to the $1.4 billion, $30 million has gone into vaccine research and the potential for domestic manufacturing and $75 million for Official Development Assistance funding to support Pacific and global vaccine access.

“We’re closely monitoring the programme to ensure it’s as effective and efficient as it can be and so we can prepare to support annual immunisation programmes in future to maintain the ground we have gained.”

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