Total cost of COVID-19 vaccines

OIA response

Thank you for your request dated 8 December 2023 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information related to the total cost of the COVID-19 vaccines. You requested:

Given that New Zealand has had over 22 million doses of purchased COVID-19 vaccines delivered as at 30 Sept 2023, and at least 9.7 millions more purchased but donated to COVAX** and pacific Island countries, can you please provide the total cost of covid-19 vaccines paid for by New Zealand, whether delivered or not, whether used or not, whether donated to COVAX or elsewhere or not.

In the 2022/23 financial year Pharmac made COVID-19 vaccine purchases totaling $120.726 million. Further information can be found in Note 4 of Pharmac’s annual report for the year ended 30 June 2023. Further information is withheld under the following sections of the Act:

  • Section 9(2)(b)(ii), to protect the commercial position of the person who supplied the information, or who is the subject of the information; and
  • Section 9(2)(j), to enable Pharmac to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations, including commercial negotiations.

For your awareness the management of COVID-19 vaccines transferred to Pharmac from the Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora from 1 July 2023. Pharmac's budget has been adjusted to cover the COVID-19 vaccines. These were funded separately before. The combined pharmaceutical budget (CPB) is now $1.5 billion.

As required under the OIA, we also considered whether, in the circumstances, the withholding of this information was outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make this information available. In this case we did not consider that the public interest outweighed the reasons for withholding the information.

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