Pharmac calls for applications from the suppliers of vaccines that protect against COVID-19

Media release Medicines COVID-19

Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac is interested to hear from pharmaceutical suppliers who manufacture vaccines that protect against COVID-19 and offer the opportunity to submit funding applications for future consideration.

“Pharmac is now responsible for managing COVID-19 vaccines so is considering the future approach to funding, eligibility, procurement, and supply,” says Pharmac’s Director of Advice and Assessment/Chief Medical Officer, Dr David Hughes.

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.

New Zealanders have had access to funded vaccines and boosters to protect against COVID-19 since early 2021 and these remain available for eligible people.

“We continue to encourage New Zealanders to get vaccinated for protection against COVID-19 when it is available to you. If any changes were to be made in the future on the access to these vaccines, we would share a public consultation as we do with all of our funding decisions.”

The call for applications will inform our approach to the future supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the longer term and align COVID-19 vaccines with Pharmac’s usual funding processes.

When the pandemic began Pharmac was asked to be part of the all-of-government COVID-19 vaccine strategy. Since this time Pharmac has worked with sector partners to ensure an equitable, sustainable delivery of the 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. We are pleased we can continue to support New Zealanders to access the treatments they need to protect against the on-going effect of COVID-19,” concludes Dr Hughes.