More than 250,000 extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine are now on the way to New Zealand from Spain, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed.
Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield have provided an update on the current Covid-19 outbreak.
Watch the update here:
Ardern said the vaccines coming from Spain departed Madrid at 1am (NZT) and were due to arrive in New Zealand tomorrow morning. These are additional to scheduled doses.
This is the first of two deals and the second was an even larger order, she said.
Ardern said the assurance of the extra doses meant the country's vaccination programme could continue at speed until larger supplies arrived.
She said there were a number of factors why Spain was chosen to get surplus doses from, including the importance of where the doses were manufactured, so they could match New Zealand's batches.
There were pre-existing relationships that meant this conversation was able to happen, she said.
There are large doses coming in October so there was a need to receive the doses in the gap New Zealand had.
More than four million doses of the vaccine have been administered.
Arden said she wanted New Zealand's vaccine rates in 2021 to lead the world.
She said 77 percent of those aged 40+ have had at least one dose, while 64 per cent of people aged 12+ have had at least one dose and 89 percent of people aged 65+ have been vaccinated with one dose.
With Auckland into its fourth week of Delta level 4 lockdown, and the rest of the country at level 2, Ardern said it was important for everyone eligible to be vaccinated.
"If everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated, you are potentially saving the life of someone who can't be."
She said 121 of the current cases were childen under 9 years old.
"These are children who at this stage cannot be vaccinated."
She said people can encourage and support others to be vaccinated.
There are now enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone eligible at pace, she said.
There were 13 new community cases of Covid-19 announced today, all in Auckland.