What Kiwis need to know about the vaccine roll-out

We are in lockdown for two reasons; because the border has failed and because nearly 80 per cent of the country has still not been fully vaccinated, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“The Labour Government claimed last year we were ‘at the front of the queue’. Given what we now know, this was at best naïve and delusional and at worst, a complete lie.

“Here are five things Kiwis need to know about the vaccine roll-out in New Zealand:

  1. We were slow to sign a contract with Pfizer – the 29th slowest out of the 38 countries in the OECD.
  2. We were slow to approve Pfizer for use in New Zealand. The UK approved it in early December 2020.  We didn’t approve it until 3 February 2021.
  3. We only ordered our Pfizer vaccines on January 29th this year. By this point, the UK and the US had administered tens of millions of doses.
  4. We refused to offer incentive payments for early delivery. It has been reported that an extra $50 million could have prevented the supply shortage earlier this year.
  5. We still haven’t ordered any Pfizer booster shots for 2022/2023. The US has just announced they will start administering boosters from September this year and other western countries have already got their orders in.

“We are in lockdown because the Government did not act with urgency to protect New Zealanders. Their complacency and inability to ensure supply and delivery of the vaccine roll-out has left New Zealanders as sitting ducks; completely vulnerable to the Delta variant when it inevitably got into the community.

“It is not enough for the Prime Minister to lock us in our homes and speak from the podium once a day. New Zealanders don’t need sermons, we need vaccines in arms right now.”