COVID-19 vaccine cost and details of supply

OIA response

Summary released 18 September 2023

To address unprecedented public interest, the Ombudsman recommended that Manatū Hauora publish a summary statement.

Summary statement on New Zealand's COVID-19 vaccine procurement process and contracts with suppliers(external link)

Thank you for your request, partially transferred from Ministry of Health (Manatū Hauora) to Pharmac, on 3 May 2023 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to COIVD-19 vaccines. Your request is copied below.

  1. Vaccines including a breakdown of the vaccines/companies and purchase dates.
    • Refinement; The cost of vaccines for COVID-19, Omicron, Delta and any other COVID-19 variant since the first out break in 2019, the companies that supplied these vaccines the dates and quantities through to 31 December 2022.

New Zealand’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy

Pharmac took over the management of COVID-19 vaccine supply from 1 July 2022. The Ministry of Health decides who can access the COVID-19 vaccine. General information about COVID-19 vaccines can be found on our website.

Cost of COVID-19 vaccines

The cost of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments was 139 million and 383.3 million in 2021 and 2022 respectively. 

Releasing the specific and total costs of COVID-19 vaccines would be likely to prejudice the commercial position of the vaccine suppliers (AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Pfizer/BioNTech) and prejudice Pharmac’s ability to negotiate. Therefore, we have withheld the costs of COVID-19 vaccines under sections 9(2)(b)(ii) and 9(2)(j) of the OIA, respectively.

Number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to New Zealand

Pharmac took over the management of COVID-19 vaccines from 1 July 2022. Additionally, the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in New Zealand(external link) in early February 2021. Therefore, there is no data available prior to 2021 for your request. 

The combined total number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to New Zealand between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2022 is 18,867,430 (10,877,670 vaccines in 2021 and 7,989,760 vaccines in 2022). 

We cannot provide a specific breakdown of the dates and quantities supplied as doing so would be likely to prejudice the commercial position of the suppliers of the vaccines (section 9(2)(b)(ii) of the OIA) and Pharmac’s ability to negotiate (section 9(2)(j) of the OIA).


We trust that this information answers your queries. Please note, you have the right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman about our response to your OIA, under section 28(3) of the OIA. Details of how to make a complaint(external link) are on the Ombudsman’s website.

To make information more freely available, we publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.