Government says front line workers will be vaccinated against Covid in second quarter of 2021 while vaccination for rest of the population will take place in the second half of the year

Government says front line workers will be vaccinated against Covid in second quarter of 2021 while vaccination for rest of the population will take place in the second half of the year

The Government has secured further large quantities of Covid vaccine and has also announced that rollout of it will not start until the second quarter of 2021 for frontline workers and then the second half of the year for the rest of the population.

Enough vaccine has been secured for the whole population, and it will be free, the Government says.

And while the Government says the four agreements it now has in place are enough for New Zealand and the Pacific, its not ruling out further purchases if required.

Two new vaccine purchase agreements were announced on Thursday. These are: Secure access to 7.6 million doses from AstraZeneca – enough for 3.8 million people, and 10.72 million doses from Novavax– enough for 5.36 million people. Both vaccines require two doses to be administered.

It means the four pre-purchase agreements secured to date are:

  • 750,000 courses from Pfizer/BioNTech;
  • 5 million courses from Janssen;
  • 3.8 million courses from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca; and
  • 5.36 million courses from Novavax.

The Government says there are multiple types of vaccine technology that have been used to develop Covid-19 vaccines and the strategy has been to purchase different types of technology, to ensure if some are found in development or in trials not to be a successful option then other alternatives will be available.

“We now have agreements in place with four providers, covering three different types of vaccine technology and we have secured more than enough doses to cover our entire population plus the Pacific,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“Our first priority will be to vaccinate border workers and essential staff who are at the greatest risk of getting COVID-19. We expect vaccines to be delivered to our front line workers in the second quarter of 2021.

“Our aim is to then commence vaccination of the general public in the second half of the year. All vaccine roll out will be dependent on Medsafe sign off, which we are streamlining, and speed of manufacture.

“We are moving as fast as we can, but we also want to ensure the vaccine is safe for New Zealanders."

Below is the announcement from the Government, while there is also a Covid rollout document here and a Covid Strategy document here:

Two new vaccines secured, enough for every New Zealander

·Two additional vaccines secured

·15 million vaccine courses pre-ordered to date

·Vaccines will be free to the public

·Medsafe processes streamlined for timeliness

·Readiness for largest ever immunisation programme progressing well 

·Systems on track to deliver first vaccines to border workers in in the 2nd quarter of 2021, with vaccination of general population in second half of the year 

The Government will purchase COVID-19 vaccines from pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Novavax, meaning every New Zealander will be able to be vaccinated, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

The new agreements secure access to 7.6 million doses from AstraZeneca – enough for 3.8 million people, and 10.72 million doses from Novavax– enough for 5.36 million people. Both vaccines require two doses to be administered.

The four pre-purchase agreements secured to date are:

·750,000 courses from Pfizer/BioNTech;

·5 million courses from Janssen;

·3.8 million courses from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca; and

·5.36 million courses from Novavax.

There are multiple types of vaccine technology that have been used to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Our strategy has been to purchase different types of technology, to ensure if some are found in development or in trials not to be a successful option we will have alternatives available.

“We now have agreements in place with four providers, covering three different types of vaccine technology and we have secured more than enough doses to cover our entire population plus the Pacific,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines announced today complement our other purchases, and are compatible with existing infrastructure and storage facilities in New Zealand.

“If proven to be safe and effective by New Zealand’s pharmaceuticals regulator Medsafe, they will provide broad population coverage for New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours.

“This will be New Zealand’s largest immunisation roll out ever. Most countries are factoring the roll out to take all of 2021 and some of 2022 to complete due to its scale and complexity, also due to production and delivery timeframes.

“Our first priority will be to vaccinate border workers and essential staff who are at the greatest risk of getting COVID-19. We expect vaccines to be delivered to our front line workers in the second quarter of 2021.

“Our aim is to then commence vaccination of the general public in the second half of the year. All vaccine roll out will be dependent on Medsafe sign off, which we are streamlining, and speed of manufacture.

“We are moving as fast as we can, but we also want to ensure the vaccine is safe for New Zealanders.

“Never before has the entire globe sought to vaccinate the entire population at the same time. This will be a sustained roll out over months not weeks but our pre-purchase agreements means New Zealand is well positioned to get on with it as soon as it is proven safe to do so,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods said the agreements ensure that we are invested in a range of options and that we’re not putting all of our eggs into one basket.

“As there are no guarantees that all the vaccines will successfully complete clinical trials, or be approved for use, this approach ensures we are able to access safe and effective vaccines at the earliest possible time, Megan Woods said.

“Our plan is to ensure no-one misses out, even if it means we’ve purchased more than we need. It’s an investment worth making.

“The world of vaccine development is dynamic. While we’re confident our four agreements place us in an excellent position, we’re not ruling out other purchases if required,” Megan Woods said.

The Government’s portfolio approach works alongside other aspects of the COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy, including membership of the global COVAX Facility, which is also an avenue for securing vaccines.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said preparations are well in hand to gear up for what would be New Zealand’s largest ever immunisation programme.

“New Zealand has never before attempted an immunisation programme of this scale and complexity. We’re putting all of the building blocks in place to make it run as seamlessly as possible. 

“Workforce planning to ensure we have enough vaccinators is well advanced. There are around 12,000 health professionals already able to administer vaccines and more will be trained. 

“And, as part of the new National Immunisation Solution, the Ministry of Health will have an inventory management system for COVID-19 vaccines with accurate information about where they are located and the temperature in central storage facilities. 

“This will enable us to track and trace COVID-19 vaccines and consumables, including their expiry dates, to reduce wastage.

“The Ministry has also purchased nine large minus 80 degree Celsius freezers that can store more than 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They are on track to arrive by the end of the year.”

Chris Hipkins said the start of COVID-19 immunisation will not mean any changes to our borders initially

“Our border remains the first line of defence against COVID-19 from imported cases. To make any decisions around borders we need to be confident that the New Zealand population is sufficiently protected.

“It means we will need information on whether the COVID-19 vaccines are effective at providing individuals with protection from contracting the virus and reducing transmission – and a gradual building towards population immunity, which will take time.

“Our technical advisory teams will be monitoring data from clinical trials and learning from the experience of other countries,” Chris Hipkins said.

Minister of Health Andrew Little said eventually, everyone in the country will have access to a vaccine free of charge.

“Currently, given we have no community transmission, the first group who would be immunised are those most at risk of being exposed to COVID-19. This includes the border and MIQ workforce, the COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers, and their household contacts. This will further strengthen our border,” Andrew Little said

“The aim of this approach is to create a layer of protection around the country to prevent any spread of COVID-19 into our communities. Officials are continuing to review the evidence, and monitor information about the vaccine characteristics, so we will continue to provide updates on the approach to sequencing as we get more information.

“We’re aiming to start vaccinating this group during the second quarter of 2021, followed by the public, in stages, from the third quarter.

“We’re factoring into our planning a large number of complex and interconnected individual strands, including the safety approval process, global supply chains, as well as lead-in times to manufacture and ship vaccines in bulk quantities.”

Andrew Little said Medsafe has agreed to allow pharmaceutical companies to make rolling applications for their COVID-19 vaccines, which means they may submit their data as it is completed and ready for assessment to speed up the process.

“Pfizer and BioNTech and Janssen have already started to submit data, and timing around Medsafe’s approval process depends on many factors, such as the data that companies provide and whether it meets internationally agreed criteria for safety and efficacy.

“Medsafe has streamlined its assessment processes and is prioritising the assessment of COVID-19 vaccines over other pharmaceuticals to obtain a vaccine more quickly, but there will be no compromise on the safety of the vaccine. Medsafe will remain in close contact with its Australian counterpart throughout,” Andrew Little said.

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58 Comments

Anyone know how much these vaccines are costing? Wasn't Pfizer the most effective vaccine that's been trialed and we've got the least orders of it - 750k of approx 15million vaccines pre-purchased.

The Oxford vaccine doesn't have the cold chain requirements of the Pfizer vaccine. So if the Pfizer cold chain isn't robust, especially at transit points what is the risk to efficacy? Oxford requires a half dose then a full dose for 90% efficacy, Pfizer requires two full doses for up to 94/5%. Question is how long will they be effective for, I heard a figure of 4mths effectiveness. Has anyone heard anything other than that? Happy to be corrected.

People are expecting the immune response to last at least a year, but the vaccines haven't been around for 1 year yet so that's just an extrapolation based on existing data.

The Oxford vaccine doesn't have robust clinical data to support the half dose + full dose regime, yet. Another study has been started to validate this.

A vaccine with 50%+ efficacy is considered useful, so while the 90%+ rates of some vaccines is no doubt a good thing, it's not essential.

I've been following the vaccine research with some interest and I'll go for Oxford if we get a choice which I'm sure we won't.

Care to share your reasoning?

From memory the Pfizer vaccine was something like $USD 20, whereas the Astra Zeneca was much cheaper, something like $USD 4?

Yeah, that sounds about right. The cost is so small compared to the benefit I don't thing the western world would quibble if it where 10 or 100 times more expensive.

Also over-buying (on contract) by OECD countries is likely good for the third world as unused vaccine will probably be dumped onto the secondary market for cents on the dollar. Effectively the OECD will end up incurring most of the costs but everyone gets the benefits (just some may have to wait a year or two.)

I had seen a figure of $40 for Pfizer and $3 for the Oxford (Astra Zeneca). Oxford vaccine has a strict non-profit requirement, and is also based on classic vaccine technology, not the new mRNA tech being used by Pfizer and Moderna, so it's believable that Oxford's vaccine can be produced en-masse for much cheaper than the others.

Actually the AstraZeneca is also a new genetic vaccine, only difference between it and the mRNA vaccines is that it inserts DNA not RNA.
https://www.vox.com/21590994/oxford-vaccine-results-covid-19-astrazeneca...

Novavax is the only one that can be considered "traditional"
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/11/will-small-long-shot-us-company-...

According to BBC will range from $4-37 depending on various factors. Those governments that did the public funding (which was the larger investment by far) will likely get them at manufacturing cost or close.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55170756

Hopefully they're firmer around the vaccine rollouts than they are about border testing, or almost any of their other deliverables.

Vacc delivery is a trick.
Third time lucky for these guys.
Fingers crossed.

Really fourth or fifth. They gave assurances about the Auckland outbreak when there was panic behind the scenes. The full report has not even yet been released. Probably a 5:00pm Xmas Eve release I'd imagine.

No, thank you. Only after Jacinda will take it first.

Roll up Roll up Sheeple, thats right just form a line and get your shot !

I don't take flu vaccines and am not interested in taking this one either.

So how does that work then. Like the flu vaccine, but unlike say the Polio vaccine, this CV19 vaccine doesn’t stop it dead, doesn’t make you immune. Therefore people will still contract CV19 , most likely their symptoms much reduced and most unlikely they will die, but they will still become potential carriers and a threat to those that can’t and/or won’t be vaccinated. Are we, and the rest of the world, therefore then one way or another, eventually going to exist with CV19 all around us but not in a lethal form generally, something like Chickenpox for instance?

Symptomatic people are most likely to spread, so vaccination works to reduce R0. Those infected seem to be immune in most cases following recovery.

I don't plan on taking the vaccine. COVID poses no threat to me, but the vaccine has a very high chance of side effects (a "severe hangover" apparently). There's also no long term study of this new type of vaccine.

I'd take a hangover rather than a potentially fairly nasty flu-like illness, personally.

I'll be taking the vaccine once it's offered. Receiving vaccinations is like being given a superpower as far as I'm concerned - we're incredibly lucky to live in a time and location where they're commonly available.

That's how it should be. Evaluate the risk based on your circumstances, age and general health. I'm lucky enough to very rarely get sick with anything, I'm under 40 and extremely fit. Therefore, on balance it isn't worthwhile for me.

I've taken the normal set of vaccinations. I don't take a flu vaccine, for the same reasons I won't take a covid vaccine.

I've had COVID. A nasty hangover is actually a very good description of what the real deal feels like for the first few days of it.

Not really flu-like it feels quite different.

There's also no long term study of this new type of vaccine.

The Oxford vaccine uses old technology, inactivated virus particles to stimulate your immune system.

The mRNA vaccines are the new tech, and while they're the first vaccines created for public rollout using it, mRNA has been studied since the 90s.

Human trials of cancer vaccines using the same mRNA technology have been taking place since at least 2011. ‘If there was a real problem with the technology, we’d have seen it before now for sure,’ said Prof. Goldman.

https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/five-things-you-need-know-about-mrna...

that's good to know. I'll take the Oxford one if any.

The Oxford vaccine uses old technology, inactivated virus particles to stimulate your immune system.

Really? I thought it used a Chimpanzee adenovirus to inject the DNA instruction set for a COVID antigen into the nucleus of your cells.

You are correct, the only difference is that it injects DNA not RNA. It is also novel and untested. See my comment above with links on how they all work.

Thanks, the other difference is the Astra vaccine sends DNA into the cell nucleus whereas the others only send RNA into the cell cytoplasm. They're all pretty far away from anything "conventional" or "old".

this CV19 vaccine doesn’t stop it dead, doesn’t make you immune

There's literally no evidence to say it makes you immune or does not make you immune, at this point.

The evidence is that some people who received the vaccine still got COVID, but of those that did, none (or virtually none) of them had serious symptoms.

Foxglove, the letter going out in the UK has a bold warning at the top - Do not take the vaccine if you have an egg allergy. Have a family member with egg allergy that some time ago, had to be flu vaccinated in order to go out on practicum due to working with young children. There was no warning about egg allergy and after receiving it they became seriously ill. Will kiwis get that same warning I wonder?

Every time I've had a flu vaccine in NZ it has come with a warning about egg allergy.

I'd say whoever administered it somehow didn't follow the process, or the information was provided but your family member overlooked it. If it was the former, ACC would cover any resultant harm from it as medical malpractice.

Thanks Lanthanide. They were a young tertiary student who knew about their allergy, but maintains to this day, they were never told about it. They learnt from the experience and always asks about egg allergen in any potential new meds.

In the US, a health care worker in Alaska with no known allergies had a very severe reaction to it.

Nor do I but I eventually want to get on a plane again.

I don't take the flu vaccine either but I would probably get the covid jab. I would definitely get it if I was to travel overseas and the virus was still widespread.

I only trust vaccines made by China.

Bravo! Have heard it said recently, that even the Chinese are made in China nowadays.

probably make sense. China has massive population and have higher chance to test it and see if it has negative effect.

You can be the first in line for that champ!

Yes I hear they have the best stolen vaccine technology. Those guys on horses that rode into atomic bomb blasts in the 60s are apparently doing well too and only glow when standing near strong magnets.

As long as they don't sit on stockpiles while people who want vaccination are unvaccinated I'm happy. Also once we've taken delivery of the first 5 or 6 million and jabbed anyone who wants it we can probably reopen the borders.

if there is that many anti-vaxxers around it will be less effective,they will keep it circulating in the community

anti-vaxxers will get immunity the old fashioned way. Once R0 is below 1 we're all good!

That's not immunity.

Reinfection seem to be exceedingly rare. If they get COVID, they'll be as immune as somebody that's had a jab.

I thought you were meaning anti-vaxxers were going to be free-loaders and rely on everyone else getting vaccinated.

I disagree with this strongly. Ethically, should we be "first in line" to get these vaccines? I would say YES for our frontline workers, but not for our population. The issue being that there are much poorer nations that should be first in line to get these, if we wanted to limit the human suffering the most (which really should be our goal). NZ could sit behind our closed borders for another year with some more money printed for the tourist industries if required and be part of the second/third wave of vaccinations. We aren't a country at the fore front of the outbreak because we did well to contain and stop its entry. We could continue this for a bit longer to make sure others who are at the forefront and find them selves in dire straights, to have maximum access to the virus.

IMO we should make sure the pacific countries have good vaccination (which we could then open access to), then donate the rest of our vaccines to the more needy countries. We simply don't need it here at the moment, making sure everyone is vaccinated when there is no outbreak (and if there is, we can test and control), is a waste of a precious resource.

I agree just give it first to the 328 million Americans then sit back and see how bad the side effects are first. We are in absolutely no rush to take a vaccine at this point in time. Keep the boarders closed for another 6 months, then again "I am Legend" is one of my favourite movies.

.

CRONOZOMBIES!!!!

DON'T BE FIRST TO TAKE THE JAB!! Lols

But seriously why do we even need a vaccine?

By the time we actually get it (late next year... Maybe) big countries will be half way vaccinated.

We don't need tourists pooping in our rest stops, or more Chinese immigrants/students.

Trade flows regardless.

And quarantine will be in place for at least another year or 2

Few months too late and a buck short? (bit of a trend with this govt)

Is your neck a bit red from sunburn?

AMA reverses its position on HCQ. No surprise that Trump was correct after all. How many lives could have been saved if the doctors prescribing it were listened to in the first place - rather than the anti-Trump virtue signallers.

"Whereas, A proposed regimen to treat COVID-19 for Stage 1, includes 10 days of hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, zinc, and on occasion Vitamin D (6);

This regimen is not being advocated for Stage 2 and Stage 3 COVID therapy;
The original studies published in The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine(NEJM) initially citing harm due to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine use were retracted by said journals due to dubious research methodology and incorrect conclusions (7, 8, 9);
AMA policy H-120.988, “Patient Access to Treatments Prescribed by Their Physicians,” supports a physician’s autonomy to prescribe medications the physician believes to be in the patient’s best interest, where the benefits outweigh risk and the patient consents; and
Whereas, Physicians have used off label medications for years and this use is supported by existing policy;
and Whereas, Data regarding harm have been limited due to poorly designed studies or studies usually in Stage 2 or later, or stopped without harm but no effect in phase 2 and hypothesis (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12); and Whereas, There are many studies that indicate that the use of Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin is effective..."
https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-10/nov20-handbook-addendum.pdf

No surprise that Trump was correct after all.

No, it very much IS a surprise that Trump was correct, given his:
1. Constant stream of self-serving lies
2. Wish to be seen as a savior / winner / genius, so he'll do or say anything he things might show him as such, including suggesting people inject bleach or somehow internally get sunlight into their system to clean it out
3. Penchant for repeating his recollection of whatever someone else has told him as if it is fact

Trying to make this into a "people irrationally don't like Trump" story when it's really "Trump has a proven track record for being untrustworthy" is rather sad and looks like you're desperately trying to defend the indefensible.

Orange man bad is yesterday's fad... We can move on now.

Take a look at yourself before you slag off others Lanthe. You sound like the "classic example"?
"In the future, I believe this misbegotten episode regarding hydroxychloroquine will be studied by sociologists of medicine as a classic example of how extra-scientific factors overrode clear-cut medical evidence.
...Since publication of my May 27 article, seven more studies have demonstrated similar benefit. In a lengthy follow-up letter, also published by AJE, I discuss these seven studies and renew my call for the immediate early use of hydroxychloroquine in high-risk patients."
https://www.newsweek.com/key-defeating-covid-19-already-exists-we-need-s...

This is old news. Ivermectin is the new(old) wonder drug for Covid.

Summary of the latest research articles relating to treatment with Ivermectin, HCQ, Vitamin D, Zinc and 3 others. https://c19ivermectin.com/

Trump would have hung a dog turd around his neck and eaten eye of newt if he thought it did any good. The man is a buffoon.

I hope that the Govt are thinking of a way to produce vaccine cards or certificates to give to people when they get the vaccine (AHEAD of the rollout). If they don't, I can well imagine people booking flights overseas and being asked for proof of the vaccine.