New Zealand lays out vaccine plan after grumbling over delay

  • 7 months   ago
New Zealand lays out vaccine plan after grumbling over delay
WELLINGTON  - New Zealand will take up to the end of the year to inoculate all those eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday, as she announced details of a vaccine campaign.
The Pacific island nation shut its borders and used tough lockdown measures to become one of the few countries to have virtually eliminated COVID-19, but the government is facing criticism for a slow rollout of vaccines.
About 560,000 people in the country of 5 million have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine while about 325,000 have been given a second dose.
"Based on the delivery and supply of vacancies we are working towards taking to the end of the year for vaccinating all those who are eligible," Ardern told a news conference, adding that the drive was going faster than expected.
Announcing details of the plan, she said vaccines would be allocated according to age with people over 60 offered one from July 28 and those over 55 from Aug. 11.
Those over the age of 45 would get vaccine invitations from mid to late August while those over 35 from mid to late September, and everyone else would be eligible from October, she said.
Ardern said the country would only get the bulk of its vaccine supply in October.
Source: Reuters