New Zealand hasn’t ordered any extra Pfizer doses

While the rest of the world orders hundreds of millions of extra Pfizer doses for 2022 and 2023 to be used as ‘booster’ shots, New Zealand hasn’t bothered, National’s Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

Answers to written questions reveal that ‘decisions are yet to be made’ regarding whether a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will be required. But that shouldn’t stop the Government ordering the doses like what other countries have done.

“The EU has ordered 1.8 billion doses for 2022 and 2023. Australia has ordered 85 million doses for 2022, the United States has ordered 200 million, the United Kingdom has ordered 60 million, Canada has ordered 35 million and Ireland has ordered 10 million extra doses.

“Our Government hasn’t bothered.

“Israel has just started its booster programme for over 60 year olds and vulnerable people. The UK is gearing up to re-vaccinate people aged 50 and over before winter kicks in.

“Frankly it looks likely that New Zealand will use booster shots next year and into 2023, but even if we don’t we should still have the option available to us. Given the incredible results of the vaccine, this is a government investment that is definitely worth it.

“I have been contacted by public health experts who are apoplectic about the Government’s inaction on this issue.

“Sadly this looks like history repeating itself.

“New Zealand was slow to sign a contract with Pfizer in 2020, slow to approve the vaccine and then slow to order. Unsurprisingly, our rollout has been slow as well. We are still last in the developed world in terms of speed and we are sitting ducks if delta comes through the border.

“To not order extra Pfizer shots now is the height of irresponsibility.”

You can find a copy of an answer to Written Parliamentary Questions here.