Friday, May 24, 2024

Pacific vaccine donations pledged

New Zealand will donate additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

“New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX Facility to support vaccine programmes in developing countries,” said Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta.

“We are also committing to provide Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau to support the vaccination of their 12-15 year-olds from October this year,” said Associate Health Minister, Aupito William Sio.

“These vaccines are part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the global effort to combat COVID-19. We know that we all need to play our part – these vaccines will provide a line of defence to countries who most need it,” said Ms Mahuta.

The COVAX doses have been allocated to Samoa, which will receive 25,000 doses, and Indonesia which will receive 683,000 doses, to be delivered to the countries in October. These doses are in addition to our existing donation of 1.668 million AstraZeneca doses to COVAX, announced earlier in the year.

“COVAX exists to enable global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring widespread vaccination around the world. New Zealand is committed to supporting those efforts,” said Minister Mahuta.

“Aotearoa’s deliveries from Pfizer will ramp up over the next few months to provide enough vaccines for everyone in New Zealand to be vaccinated by the end of the year. We will also be able to assist our Pacific neighbours using New Zealand’s surplus doses to support their vaccination programmes,” Minister Sio said.

New Zealand purchased additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine to help maintain the pace of the domestic roll out, and has now purchased over 10.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The surplus doses will be shared with the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.

“We are sharing vaccines with our partners in the Pacific to help protect the region’s precious tamariki and tamaiti against COVID-19. The donations will make a tangible contribution to COVID-19 resilience in the region, as many of these countries have large youthful populations.”

“We are also working closely with the governments of Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to donate vaccines for their younger population. These discussions are well underway,” said Minister Mahuta.

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