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Govt allocates hundreds of millions towards finding a Covid-19 vaccine; Details of exactly where funding is going kept under wraps for commercial reasons

Govt allocates hundreds of millions towards finding a Covid-19 vaccine; Details of exactly where funding is going kept under wraps for commercial reasons
Image sourced from Flickr

The Government is allocating hundreds of millions of dollars towards working alongside other countries to ensure New Zealand is near the front of the queue when a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available.

However, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods can’t detail exactly how much funding is going where, for commercial reasons.

One of the global initiatives New Zealand is contributing towards is the COVAX Facility, led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organisation.

Its aim is to develop and manufacture vaccines.

Woods said, “Governments around the world are using purchasing arrangements to secure supply, and this will be a key mechanism for helping New Zealand to gain access to Covid-19 vaccines.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “I’ve been talking to a range of world leaders about global vaccine development, including Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau and Scott Morrison.

“We are working particularly closely with Australia to ensure we are connected to all parts of vaccine development, distribution and use, as well as our Pacific neighbours to elevate their voices.”

The “extra funding”, in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars, is from the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, set aside in July, and is not part of the $14 billion kept in reserve.

It also comes in addition to $37 million allocated towards the country’s vaccine strategy in May.

At least $13 million of this is going towards local research to develop a vaccine, capabilities to evaluate a vaccine, and upgrades to existing facilities to assist with manufacturing.

Woods was able to provide a more detailed breakdown of these domestic investments:

· New Zealand has joined CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) Investors’ Council with an initial investment of $15 million towards global research efforts.

· Locally, the Government is investing in COVID-19 vaccine research and manufacturing capability.

· Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand - Ohu Kaupare Huaketo will receive $10 million to lead COVID-19 vaccine research to establish a vaccine development and evaluation platform. This platform will support the development of potential domestic and international COVID-19 vaccines by evaluating the safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates.

· Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa - Ohu Kaupare Huaketo New Zealand is a partnership between the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington which brings together a multidisciplinary team of local and international collaborators with proven capability in vaccine research, development, and scale-up manufacturing.

· We are also investing in local manufacturing, which may provide us with the ability to contribute to global supply. Biocell will receive $3 million to upgrade existing facilities so that it has the necessary scale to support global vaccine supply. This also provides the potential for New Zealand to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines locally.

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32 Comments

Purchasing vaccines from China, Russia or the US, and they are NOT mutually exclusive.

Price wise I heard that the Chinese vaccine cost NZD$200 for two shots with an immunity period of 12 months.

Also, the Chinese vaccine works ALL COVID19 mutations.

https://www.livescience.com/china-approved-covid-19-vaccine-emergency-us...

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-08-07/Six-COVID-19-vaccine-candidates-in...

13
up

Wow. And they invented time travel, too, to test that immunity period.

The Russians are better at it though - Putin claimed his one is good for two years!

It's too bad North Korea doesn't have any cases, I bet Kim Jong Un could whip up an even better vaccine (if only they had a need).

9:00am, 20 Aug 2020, North Korea had 5 confirmed cases.
9:25am, 20 Aug 2020, North Korea had 0 confirmed cases!

That's nothing. Wait till Duterte releases his!

Or it shows how long it has been around for :-|

Great advert, xing. Can we get it on Alibaba? All Mutations coverage too - wow. Even those ones that turned up yesterday and will probably - er - Mutate sometime Tomorrow? I rather suspect that the Consumer Guarantees Act enforcers might get Interested in your ad.....

Not enforceable. CCP translates to Consumers Can’t Protest.

I would rather be vaccinated with arsenic than a Chinese or Russian attempt. At least it would do the job faster.

xingmowang
Do you have any idea how ridiculous you are? This is so obviously the message the Party wants to put out and uses low level ciphers(unimportant persons) like you to disseminate it. We just find it funny, but keep it up. We all need a good laugh in these troubled times.

Suggest go and watch some Benny Hill sketches UTube. Think the character portrayed was known as Mr Chow Mein? Believe we may have a present day equivalent amongst us here. Nothing but good humour intended all the same.

Wow, sounds very promising. Maybe you should try it first.

Hmmm, a day after the first confirmed reinfection. The WHO obliviously knows this doesn't bode well for a vaccine. So the WHO is backpedaling on the lockdown till a vaccine ideal & reverting back to the "flatten the curve", "slow the spread" idea.

Reinfection is just as bad news for the hopes of a vaccine....it really is bad news for everyone no matter the goal..

And the smartest local minds are calling out the current PM & her picked team of talent.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122578930/coronavirus-...

So far New Zealand has been largely in reactive mode, initially during the first elimination stage which finished in early June and now in response to the ongoing Auckland outbreak.

But there are serious weaknesses, including multiple failures at our managed isolation and quarantine facilities and slow adoption of digital technologies for contact tracing and mass masking.

We are islands at the end of the track. Our triggered PM compares herself to Trump (as if she could do better across USA 320m peoples).

The CoL government has dissolved into PM, Megan, Chris & Grant. - its a Pandemic!
The PM & her team place us all at unnecessary levels of risk, great societal risk, even if did have the wit & intellectual drive to be across the issues.

Really Henry? "Our triggered PM compares herself to Trump" This is just petty. She reacted to criticism from Trump, as i think many here and abroad, expected her to. In observing what she is doing, i don't think she compares herself to any of the world leaders overtly. I do think she is trying desperately to learn from all the lessons that are occurring out there, but for so much of this she is in an entirely unenviable position being damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. It is just too easy to criticise. Put up solutions that are proven to work, rather than criticising.

Happy to.
1. Selection of a capable team,
2. Allocation of duties to talent and
3. Establishment of project/organization structure that enhances delivery success.

The PM is spectacularly poor at moving on people that struggle and fail in their particular roles. Remember this degrades the whole group.

Your consideration of comparisons is poor.

1. the electoral process delivered her team. this is a democracy, not an autocracy. Like a lot of leaders she has to work with who she is given.
2. see one above; and in any organisation rising to the top doesn't indicate talent at all, more likely a solid coat of teflon.
3. Talk the the ministerial CEOs. I'll bet they'll tell you they have that.

All Government leaders have the issue of moving on people who don't perform. It goes with the territory. As i said it is too easy to criticise. You seem out of touch with what it is like to work in any organisation, particularly Government ones.

Muarray, I don't buy your Stockholm syndrome approach. Nor like the Californication of New Zealand it advocates.

The covid response setup & structure was a clear canvas upon which the PM was able to demonstrate her talents.
And it is.

And several others are of the same mind.

The final report from the Government's COVID-19 Contact Tracing Assurance Committee (CTAC) wants "urgent attention" to be given to which health agencies should be held responsible in New Zealand's pandemic response.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/08/coronavirus-clarity-need...

And that is after they told the world that they must eliminate it. PLus they didn't tell NZ that it needs to go the way of Sweden. At least Sweden has the health system and ICU capacity to cope. NZ doesn't. Anyone over 60 essentially faces potentially years in self isolation in a Covid infected country, as it requires older and vulnerable people to be isolated off. eg Similar to our rest homes at the moment.

And Australia are running a couple of weeks ahead..

As he left the chief medical officer’s post, Brendan Murphy summed up the concept of certainty at the dawn of the COVID-19 age. “I think it's likely we will get a vaccine,” he told the ABC. “How effective it will be, we don't know.”

If he’s not sure, what are the rest of us to think? In our fourth months of various versions of the initial lockdown phase, we've reached the stage where each piece of encouraging news is followed by another piece of news that can leave us as flat as a tack.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/we-could-do-with-more-straight-talk-on-t...

The basic assumption behind every government measure since the coronavirus arrived here was to put up defensive measures to limit its spread and wait for a vaccine to come along. We all live in hope that an effective vaccine will come along soon. But we should also consider what we will do if it does not.

People are the solution? Don't think so, people are half the problem and that half is being totally ignored.

Epidemics of infectious disease are generally caused by several factors including a change in the ecology of the host population (e.g., increased stress or increase in the density of a vector species),

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemic

Edit: Meant as a response to Andrewj's link.

Within that. No regulations or contingencies will ever be watertight. Best that can be hoped for is fail safe. Because in every crowd there is always the one. No finger pointing intended but cannot escape the notion that the case zero that triggered this current cluster knows full well what he or she did or didn’t do, hopefully unwittingly, and is staying mum for obvious reasons.

Vincent Rajkumar

India must be being protected by cross reactive immunity from prior corona viral infections.

Let us examine the data:

1)>2.7 million diagnosed with COVID.

2) Seroprevalence in hotspots:
Mumbai slums 57%
Pune 52%
Delhi 29%

3) Much lower mortality than expected.
4) There is decrease in new cases in Mumbai & Delhi.

5) Mumbai and Delhi hospitals have not had the overflowing ICUs & ERs seen in Lombardy or NY despite far less resources.

6) Tens of millions live in situations where social distancing is impossible. Explains seroprevalence
7) Talking to friends Mumbai is slowly returning to normal.

8) With this level of seroprevalence the mortality rates if similar to the US should be far far higher. But it’s not.This is the puzzle. Something is happening that we must try & understand more. What’s happening in India suggests some protection from severe disease being afforded by cross immunity from prior corona viral infections.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/515-people-in-pune-h...

That sort of reminds me of Mr Wells and his War of the Worlds. All the nasty Martian critters wiped out, not by guns and bombs on hand, but by our latent natural army of viruses and bacteria. Billions of years of evolving has made Mother Nature a bloody tough combatant.

If there is significant cross reactivity, that will make the seroprevalence results useless as they are also potentially cross reactive.

India does not seem to have a problem using cheap drugs and supplements early in the disease and as prophylactics. They seem to be moving on from HCQ as an early treatment, rather than just ignoring it.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/up-new-protocol-ivermectin-to-re...
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/stickers-pasted-at-homes-of...

Surely demographic difference would play a non-trivially role as well.

There is a covid vaccine being manufactiured in NZ.
Things have progressed fast and some USA Experts have jumped onto this vaccine as its a pill and aimed at the gut which is were the mucus is)...
I believe it may also be going to now be part of the WARP programme in the USA for fast tracking.
Go NZ!
Naturally - No support from NZ PLC...

Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.