Otago Daily Times

Deal part of ‘multi­pronged’ vac­cine strat­egy: Woods

- Business · Health · Medical Activism · Vaccines · Medical Treatments · Clinical Trials · Pharmacology · Medicine · Wellington, New Zealand · Pfizer · New Zealand · New Zealand Ministry of Health · Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination · Ministry of Health (Saudi Arabia) · Megan Woods

WELLING­TON: The Gov­ern­ment’s pre­pur­chase deal for a Covid­19 vac­cine is a ‘‘well­judged com­mit­ment’’, Re­search, Sci­ence and In­no­va­tion Min­is­ter Me­gan Woods says.

The Gov­ern­ment an­nounced on Mon­day it had reached a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech for 1.5 mil­lion doses of a vac­cine, for 750,000 peo­ple.

The deal — the first of its kind for the Gov­ern­ment — is sub­ject to the vac­cine suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing all clin­i­cal tri­als and pass­ing reg­u­la­tory ap­provals.

The agree­ment comes as part of the

Covid­19 vac­cine strat­egy, which also in­cludes con­tri­bu­tions to the global Co­vax Fa­cil­ity that could pro­vide up to 50% of New Zealand’s needs.

Dr Woods said the deal would en­sure New Zealan­ders did not miss out on a pos­si­ble vac­cine.

‘‘The strat­egy . . . is that we have a multi­pronged ap­proach, that we don’t put all of our eggs in one bas­ket, that we are do­ing ad­vanced pur­chase agree­ments with a num­ber of com­pa­nies that are work­ing on vac­cines be­cause no­one is sure which one is go­ing to come off.’’

She would not say how much the money the Gov­ern­ment had handed over in the agree­ment as it was com­mer­cially sen­si­tive.

How­ever, she said it had al­ready sig­nalled ‘‘hun­dred of mil­lions of dol­lars’’ was re­quired to se­cure vac­cines.

Dr Woods said the Pfizer and BioNTech vac­cine was well ad­vanced and about 28,000 peo­ple were in­volved in tri­als in 120 sites around the world.

The Min­istry of Health was still work­ing through how the im­mu­ni­sa­tion strat­egy would work, she said. — RNZ

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