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Government putting $1.4 billion into NZ's Covid-19 vaccination roll out

The Government has revealed it's spending $1.4 billion on New Zealand's vaccination roll out, in order to have enough free Covid-19 vaccines available for every person in the country, as well as the infrastructure needed over the next two years. 

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Chris Hipkins says the money means all New Zealanders will get a free vaccine. Source: 1 NEWS

Figures around the vaccine spend had not previously been released, due to what the Government said was commercial sensitivity around pre-purchase agreements with vaccine companies. 

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said of the $1.4 billion, more than $1 billion was allocated for purchasing vaccines and specialist equipment.

Of that $1 billion - there was $964.3 million "for manufacturer advance purchase agreements and the COVAX facility to support equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines".

Specialist vaccine equipment had $66.3 million allocated, which included the purchase of syringes and related vaccine storage facilities and transport.

"We have secured sufficient doses to vaccinate every New Zealander for free and to also support our Pacific neighbours," Hipkins said.

"Additional vaccines deemed safe and effective can be deferred for later use and further donated to support regional recovery."

"The remaining $356.9 million has been allocated for technology to support the roll-out, funding for DHBs, ongoing support for Medsafe, and to stand up community immunisation centres."

So far, the Government purchased 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, still the only Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for use in New Zealand. 

The Government had also pre-purchase agreements for 7.6 million doses of the double-dose University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, 10.7 million doses from Novavax, a US vaccine development company, which could vaccinate 5.6 million people and five million courses from Janssen.