29 Jul 2021

Medsafe gives provisional approval for AstraZeneca vaccine

11:54 am on 29 July 2021

Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 and older.

Cabinet is yet to consider whether to use the AstraZeneca vaccine in New Zealand, but it would allow donations to Pacific countries.

A pharmacist holds a vial of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine in a pharmacy, in Savenay, western France, on April 2, 2021. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)

Photo: AFP

The news removes another stumbling block for supplying more vaccines to places like Fiji, where Covid-19 continues to run rampant and health systems are struggling to keep up.

The government secured enough doses for 3.8 million people through an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca last year.

Acting Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall said officials were working with the company to confirm delivery schedules, and the first delivery could arrive by late August.

Verrall said New Zealand's vaccination plan remained focused on the Pfizer vaccine, which would be available to all in the country who wished to have one by the end of 2021.

More to follow...

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs