Govt agrees to purchase 5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine

The Government has today announced an in-principle agreement to purchase up to five million Covid-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson.

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It’s subject to the jab successfully completing clinical trials and passing necessary approvals in New Zealand. Source: Breakfast

The agreement is subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, according to Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods.

Janssen Pharmaceutica - whose parent company is Johnson & Johnson - produces the vaccine, which is likely to be delivered in a single dose, meaning five million shots would more than cover demand here.

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Janssen Pharmaceutica could provide enough doses to vaccinate the entire country. Source: 1 NEWS

“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 Woods.

“The agreement with Janssen would see the first doses – up to two million – delivered from the third quarter of 2021. We have the option to purchase up to three million additional doses, which would be delivered throughout 2022."

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More than 180 nations have signed up to the pact, which was started with the idea that none of us will be safe until all of us are safe. Source: 1 NEWS

Woods praised the safety record of Janssen and Johnson & Johnson in New Zealand.

“This gives us confidence in their ability to develop, manufacture and deliver a safe and effective vaccine,” Woods said.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently in stage 3 clinical trials encompassing 60,000 people.

Last week the Government announced an agreement to purchase 1.5 million doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine, which has been shown to be 90 per cent effective in early trials.

That one, however, is a double dose vaccine, meaning 750,000 Kiwis would have access to it initially.