Health Ministry Says Vaccine Supply ‘Tight’, But Won’t Run Out
Denise Piper / Stuff
New Zealand will continue to provide more than 100,000 vaccines over the next five weeks. (File photo)
The health ministry says vaccine stocks will be tight over the next five weeks, but existing reservations will not be affected.
In a press release issued on Friday, the ministry said there was a sufficient supply of Pfizer vaccine for more than 500,000 vaccinations to be performed over the next five weeks, before a million additional doses of the vaccine n ‘arrive in July.
The announcement follows a column published Thursday by the New Zealand Herald, who claimed the vaccine supply was about to run out based on government figures.
Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said on Friday the ministry had carefully planned to manage its path over the next five weeks.
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Meanwhile, DHBs across the country will have to manage the rate of new bookings and walk-in vaccines will no longer be available.
Existing bookings would not be affected, Bloomfield said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the delivery of one million additional doses of Pfizer vaccine means that vaccination of the entire population can begin soon.
Vaccinations for people in prison and some civilian and military reserve personnel would also slow down over the five weeks.
Bloomfield said DHBs have been urged to contact everyone in Group 3 about an invitation to be vaccinated by the end of July at the latest.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we manage the largest vaccination deployment in our history,” Bloomfield said.
The vaccine rollout in New Zealand has reached 110% of the planned target, with all district health boards meeting or exceeding their target except Auckland.
Northland hit 100 percent for the first time thanks to the announcement of flexibility in vaccination criteria.
Currently, New Zealand has administered 775,444 doses of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine.