Making sure New Zealand’s COVID-19 vaccines are safe

The Government has secured supplies of the vaccines for the entire country and to support our Pacific neighbours. The Government has four Advance Purchase Agreements for COVID-19 vaccines. These agreements are subject to the vaccines successfully completing clinical trials and being approved by Medsafe.

Medsafe is New Zealand’s independent medical regulator. It evaluates applications for all new medicines, including vaccines. Vaccines must comply with international standards and local requirements for quality, safety and efficacy before they can be approved and used in New Zealand.

Medsafe is streamlining its assessment processes and prioritising the evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines over other medicines so that we can get a vaccine more quickly. The vaccines will still go through the same strict scrutiny that all medicines undergo.

Three of vaccines are two-dose:

  • Pfizer and BioNTech – 1.5 million doses of vaccine (enough for 750,000 people).
  • Oxford and AstraZeneca – 7.6 million doses of vaccine (enough for 3.8 million people).
  • Novavax – 10.72 million doses of vaccine (enough for 5.36 million people).

One vaccine is single dose: Janssen Pharmaceutica – up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines.

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