Photo: photocosmos1/Shutterstock

New Zealand Bought Too Many COVID-19 Vaccines, so It’ll Give Them to Neighboring Countries for Free

by Eben Diskin Dec 21, 2020

New Zealand continues to be the world’s role model amid the COVID-19 crisis. The country has already garnered international praise for its ability to contain the COVID-19 outbreak within its borders, and now, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says they’ve purchased enough vaccine doses to distribute them to neighboring countries for free.

In addition to already securing 750,000 doses from Pfizer, and four million from Johnson & Johnson, the country added AstraZeneca and Novavax to the list for an additional 18.3 million doses. Since the population of New Zealand is just 5 million, it expects to have three times as many vaccines than it actually needs.

In a press release, Ardern said, “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.”

According to NPR, the free doses will be provided to Tokelau, the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The country is also committing $65 million to ensure Pacific countries have access to the vaccine and an additional $10 million to a global commitment to help lower-income countries around the world get access.

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