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Pfizer and BioNTech have so far had promising COVID-19 Vaccine results over clinical trials.
Research, science and innovation minister Megan Woods said the clinical trials of a vaccine is encouraging.
During October the New Zealand Government signed an agreement to purchase around 1.5 million COVID-19 doses or vaccines that can populate for approximately 750,000 people to take it.
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“As part of the agreement, vaccine delivery to New Zealand could be as early as the first quarter of 2021. Provided the vaccine is approved for use in New Zealand by Medsafe, it is possible that some doses will be available to us in the first part of 2021,” said Megan Woods.
“Medsafe is working to optimise its processes so that any promising vaccines will be fully assessed as quickly as possible against the same criteria used for all other medicines that enter New Zealand.”
“Pfizer and BioNTech will keep us up to date as to when data will be available for Medsafe to begin its evaluation process.”
The ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy Taskforce’ is led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment — they are currently in talks with other pharmaceutical companies and any announcements in future will be expected during November.
“The agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech is one of a number of negotiations underway as part of our portfolio approach, and good progress is being made in relation to other purchasing negotiations. The additional agreements will ensure that once the portfolio is completed, we will have sufficient COVID-19 vaccines for the whole population,” Megan Woods said.
The Ministry of Health is developing a sequencing structure that will be able to guide the vaccine rollout as they become available around the country.
The vaccine will be considered and be given to those of risk to spreading COVID-19, contracting COVID-19 or of increased morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19.