Health Minister on why the wait for the Covid-19 vaccine

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Dec 2020, 5:58PM
Health Minister Andrew Little. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Health Minister Andrew Little. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Health Minister on why the wait for the Covid-19 vaccine

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Dec 2020, 5:58PM

Every New Zealander may be able to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of next year.

The Government has secured a new agreement to purchase vaccines from drug companies AstraZeneca and Novavax.

It grants New Zealand access to more than 18 million doses - enough for nearly 13 million people.

The Government has also made previous deals to buy vaccines from companies Pfitzer and Janssen.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the first priority will be to vaccinate frontline workers in the second quarter of 2021.

After that, it will be rolled out country-wide and to the entire Pacific.

However, at the end of November, while speaking to Mike Hosking, Ardern pointed towards a March start date.

"At this point, our expectation that we've been running to is more around the March date."

Health Minister Andrew Little denied that she was mistaken. He told Heather du Plessis-Allan that they expect the vaccine to arrive in March. 

"We don't expect to receive vaccines until the first quarter. The roll-out of the programme, because it will take a month, it will take a month."

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