Coalition invests $27m in global Covid-19 vaccine facility

By Jessica Tyson

The Coalition government has invested $27 million in Covid-19 vaccine development through the global Covax Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

Peters says the Covax Facility is a key part of the government's Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines.

"It allows us to invest in a high-quality, diversified portfolio of Covid-19 vaccine candidates. This will ensure we are spreading risk and keeping our options open," Peters.

"New Zealand expressed interest in joining the Covax Facility in July, which allowed us to support international efforts to shape how the facility works. We have officially confirmed our commitment to the Covax Facility and will invest an initial $27 million to support development and manufacturing. It will act as a pre-purchase, should any of the vaccine candidates be successful.”

Peters says the initial investment of $27 million is part of the allocation the Coalition announced in August from the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Additional funding will be required to buy Covid-19 vaccines if any of the candidates in the Covax Facility portfolio is successful but the exact amount of additional funding is not yet known.

“The agreement will ensure New Zealand receives enough vaccines to cover up to 50 per cent of the population of New Zealand and the realm, which includes Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue."

He says joining the Covax Facility is complementary to the other strands of the Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy, which includes advance purchase arrangements with pharmaceutical companies, investing in global research and increasing manufacturing capability.