The Ministry of Health has confirmed there is sufficient supply of the Pfizer vaccine for district health boards to deliver more than half a million vaccinations as planned over the next five weeks.
“As announced on Tuesday, Pfizer has confirmed we will receive 1 million doses of the vaccine in July,” Director-General Ashley Bloomfield says.
“We also continue to receive weekly vaccine supplies through June as well. Stocks will be tight for the next five weeks and we have planned carefully to manage our way through.
“Current bookings will not be affected. But DHBs are likely to have to manage the rate of new bookings to ensure they are delivering in line with their current plans, where to date many have been running ahead of plan for some time.
“Walk-ins have been incorporated in the vaccine roll-out plan up until now, in many cases to avoid vaccine wastage. However, with the ability to now store the Pfizer vaccine at 2-8 degrees for up to 31 days, that is no longer a problem. This means appointments will be required for vaccinations at all DHBs so we can carefully manage our supply during this period.
“Even through this more tightly controlled phase, DHBs will continue to administer more than 100,000 doses per week. This means we will administer more than half a million doses over the next five weeks. In comparison, it took us three months to deliver the first half a million doses.
“We know some people in group 3 (those over the age of 65, people with disabilities, pregnant people and certain health conditions) are anxious to know when they will receive their vaccination. We have asked DHBs to ensure people in this group receive an invitation to be vaccinated by the end of July at the latest.
“As part of carefully managing our vaccine stocks over the next five weeks we are slowing, but not stopping, vaccinations planned for people in prison and some civilian and reserve Defence Force personnel.
“I’d like to thank these agencies for helping us prioritise members of the public who have vaccinations booked. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we manage the largest vaccination rollout in our history.
“This does not change the end goal. There will be enough vaccine for everyone over the age of 16 to receive two doses by the end of this year.”