“The enormity of New Zealand’s soft approach to negotiating Covid-19 vaccines on New Zealanders’ behalf is being laid bare, and no amount of faux self-congratulation for finally approving the safety of Pfizer’s vaccine will change that,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“This Government needed an adrenalin shot of urgency about six weeks ago when it became apparent we’d negotiated so differently to other developed countries.
"Today the Prime Minister could be no clearer about when vaccines would arrive on our shores.
“The Government should have gone back to the drug companies then and amended our deals.
“This can be done, as Israel proved before Christmas and South Africa proved in the last few weeks, receiving an urgent shipment of its first doses yesterday.
“Australians woke up this morning and were told where their nearest vaccination clinics will be.
“If vaccinations continue at their present rate of 4.22 million doses a day more than 350 million people worldwide will have been treated before New Zealand receives its first dose.
“But we know from experience to date that they won’t continue at the present rate – they’ll speed up.
“With the populations of 66 countries having received 104 million doses so far it’s possible half a billion people worldwide will be vaccinated before New Zealand even gets out of the starting blocks.”