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The government has agreed in an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines.
Following this announcement, this follows the government’s recent agreement to purchase around 1.5m doses of a vaccine, and that’d be enough for roughly 750,000 people — which would come from Pfizer and BioNTech.
The vaccines will be enough for all people of the country — the vaccine that is successfully completing clinical trials and passing the usual regulatory approvals in New Zealand first.
“This agreement forms part of our portfolio approach to ensure that we have the ability to access a range of vaccine options, if and when a suitable vaccine is developed and approved,” says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.
The agreement is with Janssen Pharmaceutica. The government is expecting a set approach of a purchase agreement that will be finalised in the coming weeks.
“The agreement with Janssen would see the first doses – up to 2 million – delivered from the third quarter of 2021. We have the option to purchase up to 3 million additional doses, which would be delivered throughout 2022,” Megan Woods said.
The vaccine will be most likely a single-dose, and compatible with standard vaccine distribution channels.
Janssen, and its parent company Johnson & Johnson, according to the government, have a ‘very strong’ track record for producing safe and effective pharmaceutical products around the country.
“This gives us confidence in their ability to develop, manufacture and deliver a safe and effective vaccine,” Megan Woods said.
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