New report has it that New Zealand is planning to buy more of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines which would be enough for the entire country’s population according to the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday.
The government also signed an agreement to buy an extra 8.5 million doses of vaccines which will be enough for the country’s 4 million people. Adern also said the vaccines are expected to reach the country in the second half of the year.
“This brings our total Pfizer order to 10 million doses or enough for 5 million people to get the two shots needed to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Ardern said in a statement.
The initial deal that New Zealand had with Pfizer was for 1.5 million doses which is enough to vaccinate about 750,000 people.
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Ardern said the decision to make Pfizer the country’s primary vaccine provider was taken after it was shown to be about 95% effective at preventing symptomatic infection.
The roll out of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine started about a month ago and the country is expected to inoculate the entire populace by the end of the year.
New Zealand is one of the countries that aren’t hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as it saw only 2000 confirmed cases with only 26 deaths. The country moved swiftly with its containment strategies such as border closure, tracking systems and lockdowns which slowed the spread of the disease.
Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, emerged on Sunday from a strict week long lockdown imposed after a community cluster of the more contagious British coronavirus variant.
But as of Monday, there are no new cases reported in the country considering the current number of cases globally which continues to increase despite the success of the Pfizer vaccine.