Photo / RNZAF
New Zealand is donating several thousand more Covid-19 vaccines to Tonga and Samoa, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is donating an additional 9,300 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to Tonga, and 10,000 doses to Samoa,” Mahuta said in an announcement with Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio today.
"These donations are part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s ongoing commitment to global vaccination efforts and are part of our plans to support vaccine rollout in the Pacific.”
Aupito William Sio, who recognised that both countries had done an "impressive job" vaccinating their people against the virus, said the donations would allow them to now begin administering booster jabs.
“These vaccines will enable frontline workers and vulnerable populations to access a booster as early as possible.”
Mahuta added that Tonga and Samoa both have immediate Covid-19 challenges that the vaccines will help alleviate.
“With Tonga now in lockdown and Covid1-9 detected at the border in Samoa, ensuring populations are boosted will play a key role in mitigating the impacts of an outbreak.”
Earlier today, a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules left Auckland for the islands carrying the vaccines, rapid antigen tests, and equipment to support re-establishing the electrical network in Tonga.
This donation brings New Zealand’s total vaccine donations to over 47,000 for Tonga and 94,000 for Samoa, the statement says.