COVID-19 vaccines

Pharmac was proud to support the Vaccine Strategy's Taskforce in securing enough vaccine for every New Zealander.

Pharmac's role

Pharmac is part of the all-of-government COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy. As part of the Vaccine Strategy's Taskforce, we supported the vaccines negotiation team and supported the implementation of the vaccine strategy.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for the vaccine rollout. Details about each type, such as availability, are available on the Ministry's website.

COVID-19 Vaccines - Ministry of Health(external link)

The numbers you need to know

  • 4 different vaccines secured
  • 10 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech (enough for 5 million people)
  • 2 million doses from Janssen (enough for 2 million people)
  • 7.6 million doses from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca (enough for 3.8 million people)
  • 10.72 million doses from Novavax. (enough for 5.36 million people)

The COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy At A Glance

The COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy

The COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy (the Strategy) sought to ensure New Zealand’s access to safe and effective vaccines, in order to implement our preferred immunisation solution at the earliest possible time.

The Vaccine Strategy Taskforce's achievements include: 

  • negotiating four independent purchasing agreements with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen, the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax.
  • joining and supporting the COVAX Facility, which seeks to distribute vaccines across the globe.
  • establishing the Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand – Ohu Kaupare Huaketo to support connecting our scientific expertise to global research efforts.
  • investing in developing New Zealand’s capability to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines, should it be necessary. 
Details below.
Our portfolio closely aligns with those of leading countries

Vaccine purchasing

A key principle of the Strategy was to ensure timely access to vaccines as they were developed. To achieve this, the Vaccine Strategy Taskforce pursued advance purchase agreements (APAs) while development was ongoing. This ensured no delay in supply to New Zealand.

A portfolio of several APAs increased the likelihood that New Zealand would have suitable vaccines. It meant New Zealand wasn't putting all of our eggs in the same basket.

All of the Taskforce's purchase decisions were informed by independent scientific and commercial experts, including some of New Zealand’s top immunologists and clinicians on a Science and Clinical Review Panel.

The four candidates New Zealand secured were:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Janssen
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Novavax.

More than a jab in the arm

Supporting a rollout to vaccinate over 90% of the eligible population within six months needed significant planning and infrastructure. 

Read more about the strategy and the government's vaccine roll-out(external link)

What else is Pharmac doing?

Pharmac has negotiated many deals to fund COVID-19 treatments for New Zealanders. 

Read more about the funded treatments