Fri, 24 Sep 2021

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The New Zealand government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Sunday.

The Danish prime minister, the European Union, and Belgium have been credited with making the acquisition possible.

"This is the second and larger agreement the government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the significantly increased demand through September before our large shipments land in October," Ardern said Sunday.

"These doses along with the 275,000 doses purchased from Spain last week provide an additional 775,000 to New Zealand's vaccine supplies."

"There is now more than enough vaccine in the country to vaccinate at the world-leading rates we were hitting earlier in the month, and I strongly encourage every New Zealander not yet vaccinated to do so as soon as possible," the prime minister said.

Arden said her government was extremely grateful to Denmark for making the vaccines available to help protect New Zealand against the current Delta outbreak.

"Our sincere gratitude is extended to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and her officials for their agreement and assistance to sell these doses to New Zealand. I wish to thank the European Union for coordinating this purchase, as well as Belgium, for their role in producing the vaccine."

76% of people aged 12 and older are either booked or have received their first dose. "Other countries with higher rates than this are still experiencing outbreaks, so we need to get vaccination rates up around the country and this extra supply will help with that," Ardern said.

"This extra supply means we can continue to roll out vaccines well ahead of plan, so that everyone in New Zealand over the age of 12 can be vaccinated as soon as possible for free."

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