New Zealand has secured a sufficient number of Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine doses to immunize the entire population of the country after ordering additional 8.5 million doses, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.
Under the initial agreement with the developer, the island nation secured 1.5 million doses of the vaccine to immunize some 750,000 people. On Monday, the government announced it ordered additional doses to cover the entire population of about 5 million.
“This brings our total Pfizer order to 10 million doses or enough for 5 million people to get the two shots needed to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Ardern told reporters, as cited in a government press release.
According to the prime minister, the government decided to make Pfizer its primary vaccine provider due to the fact that the developer’s vaccine has proved to be about 95-percent effective at preventing COVID-19.
Apart from that, the country has ordered vaccine doses from other developers, but they can be used in 2022 at the earliest.
New Zealand rolled out its mass vaccination campaign on February 19, with medical staff being the first to receive the shot.