Turns out we could get vaccines earlier

After months of being told there was no way to speed up the vaccine supply into New Zealand, it turns out all the Government needed to do was go and ask, National’s Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Today’s announcement of an announcement about a vaccine deal is good news but begs the serious question: why didn’t the government do this earlier in the year?

“We have been told for months that there was nothing the Government could do to speed up vaccine supply, and in fact there was something almost immoral about securing vaccines that the rest of the world needed more than we did.

“The Government shouldn’t have needed a Covid Delta outbreak in the community to spur it into action. It should have been securing as many Pfizer doses as quickly as possible from the start of this year, to protect New Zealand against the Delta variant and to speed up our process of reconnecting to the world.

“New Zealand was late to sign vaccine contracts, late to order vaccines, and refused to offer an incentive bonus to Pfizer to deliver more vaccines earlier.

“Now it has taken an outbreak for the Government to swing into action and go and scrounge vaccines from elsewhere in the world to make sure we don’t run out.

“This is yet more evidence of a serious lack of planning by a Government that has been in self-congratulation mode rather than planning how to roll-out vaccines and manage an outbreak.”