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New Zealand to vaccinate the entire population, offers free vaccine to neighbors

New Zealand to vaccinate the entire population, offers free vaccine to neighbors

The front-line workers will receive their doses in the second quarter of 2021, while the general population will be vaccinated in the second half of the year.

New Zealand has placed orders for two different coronavirus vaccines that it will receive in the coming months. The vaccines will cover the entire five million population of New Zealand and some of the population of neighboring Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu if they are interested.

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, said that the front lines workers would start receiving the vaccine in the second quarter of 2021. She also said that this is the first occasion that an entire country will be vaccinated at the same time. She expected that the vaccine would be available to the masses in the second half of 2021.

“Never before has the entire globe sought to vaccinate the entire population at the same time,” Ardern said. “This will be a sustained rollout over months, not weeks, but our pre-purchase agreements means New Zealand is well-positioned to get on with it as soon as it is proven safe to do so.”

“We expect vaccines to be delivered to our front line workers in the second quarter of 2021,” she said. “We aim to then commence vaccination of the general public in the second half of the year. All vaccine rollout will be dependent on Medsafe sign off and speed of manufacture.”

New Zealand has placed orders for vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Janssen Pharmaceutica. It now will be placing further orders with the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca and Novavax for their vaccines. Both vaccines will have to be administered twice to achieve the desired effect. According to the government, the additional acquisition provides 7.6 million doses from AstraZeneca will be enough for 3.8 million people, while the 10.72 million doses from Novavax will be enough for 5.36 million people.

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