An estimated one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are set to arrive in New Zealand during July, with Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins expecting the shipment to ramp up New Zealand's rollout.
The Government announcement this afternoon comes after questions were raised last month over concerns of the rollout slowing down without a sizeable shipment in July.
"These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 — enough to fully vaccinate almost one million Kiwis," Hipkins said today.
"This is great news and reassuring to see our vaccine supply ramping up."
The doses are to be received weekly, "ramping up in quantity from mid July as we start to move to the wider population rollout".
About 20,000 doses are being administered each day, with the shipment in July enabling the daily doses to increase significantly, Hipkins said.
"To date, we’ve fully vaccinated over a quarter of a million people," Hipkins said. "Work is well advanced to set up more vaccination sites, deliver mass vaccination events, and bring more GPs and pharmacies on-board to help with the rollout."
On May 26, Hipkins said the general public was likely to be waiting "a little bit longer" for their vaccine, saying that New Zealand's vaccination model was subject to the delivery schedule of Pfizer.
"It may mean we have to slow down a little bit at the beginning of July to make sure we don't get into a position where we run out if we're not getting a reasonably sizeable delivery early in July," he said at the time.
Hipkins said the agreement with Pfizer was that it would deliver New Zealand all the vaccines needed for the vaccination programme between July and September.