Call for funding applications for vaccines providing protection against COVID-19

Medicines COVID-19 Consultation Closed

What we’re doing

Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac is now responsible for the management of COVID-19 vaccines. This includes funding, eligibility, procurement, and supply.

This change follows the transfer of responsibilities from Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health as of 1 July 2023 and the adjustment to the Combined Pharmaceutical Budget (CPB) to integrate the previously separate funding for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.  

We invite funding applications from pharmaceutical suppliers who manufacture vaccines that protect against COVID-19. This will help us plan our future procurement and supply approach.

We are interested in applications for all vaccine technology platforms, for example mRNA, protein sub-unit, and combination products.

COVID-19 vaccines have been freely available in New Zealand since early 2021.(external link)

We continue to encourage people to get vaccinated to protect against COVID-19(external link).

The current vaccines continue to be available. We would consult publicly, if any changes were made in the future that affect people’s access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The call for applications closes at 5pm on Monday 18 December 2023.

Who we think will be interested

  • Pharmaceutical suppliers of vaccines that protects against COVID-19
  • Healthcare professionals working in primary care, including community pharmacist and outreach vaccinators
  • People (and their whānau/carers) at higher risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 infection
  • Organisations with an interest in COVID-19, including Te Pou Hauora Tūmatanui - Public Health Agency, Te Aka Whai Ora, Te Whatu Ora, Manatū Hauora, and the Immunisation Advisory Centre
  • Infectious disease specialists
  • Public health clinicians and researchers interested in COVID-19

How will it work?

We are calling for funding applications now to help us consider the options for future procurement and supply. Submitted applications will be considered by the Immunisation Advisory Committee in March/April 2024. Advice from this group will inform our next steps. A procurement process seeking supply arrangements may then be started. 

Suppliers can submit funding applications to Pharmac before they seek approval for their vaccine from Medsafe. However, the vaccine would need to gain Medsafe approval before any future listing on the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Details for submitting applications

Applications must be submitted through our application portal – PharmConnect. More information about how to do this is on our website: Make a medicine funding application.

We do not require a full funding application to be submitted.  

Applications should focus on our Factors for Consideration, the framework Pharmac uses when making funding decisions. We consider we have sufficient existing information to inform our understanding of the health need of COVID-19.

The table below outlines the details we require suppliers to address in their applications:

Application section Information requirements
Product overview Required in full
Health Need Not required
Health Benefit Required in full
Cost and Savings Not required, however any information on cost and savings is encouraged.  
Economic Analysis Please provide a PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes) table to summarise the key information, noting that the comparator in this process is not defined. If providing economic analyses, the table should reflect the model/s provided.

Not required, however any cost utility and/or budget impact analyses and accompanying reports are encouraged, even if not adapted for New Zealand.
Suitability Required in full
Additional information Any information not included in other sections is welcome to be submitted
Declaration and identification Required in full
Vaccine additional information Required in full

Pharmac may ask suppliers for a cost utility analysis for their product. More information would be provided at the time on the requirements for any analysis.

Next steps following the submission of applications

Applications that meet the above requirements will be considered through Pharmac’s usual assessment processes.  

Pharmac will seek clinical advice from the Immunisation Advisory Committee at a meeting to be held in March/April 2024. Advice from this meeting will help us determine the next steps regarding any commercial procurement processes.

Not submitting a funding application would not exclude you from any future procurement process. Any applications received after 18 December 2023 may be considered at future Advisory Committee meetings.

The table below provides the intended timeframes for this process:

Timeframe Stage of process
Now Open for application submissions
18 December 2023 Last day for submissions
March/April 2024 Pharmac’s Immunisation Advisory Committee meeting (date to be confirmed)
April 2024 onward Pharmac to determine procurement approach

To submit applications

Applications must be submitted through our application portal – PharmConnect by 5pm on 18 December 2023.

More information about how to do this is on our website: Make a medicine funding application

If you would like to discuss the application process, please contact the Therapeutic Group Managers leading this process: