“Newstalk ZB has this evening revealed the reason we’re short of vaccine is because COVID Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Pfizer to slow down delivery,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“In late May Hipkins said New Zealand was due to have eight million doses ‘by the end of September’ but that’s no longer the case, thanks to a terrible judgement call by Chris Hipkins.
“ACT has been calling on the Government to be more transparent about how much vaccine we have left and how much is on the way, because at current rates we could run out in days.
“Newstalk ZB has now revealed that we could have had all of the vaccine we needed, but back in June Chris Hipkins told Pfizer to slow down deliveries.
“When Hipkins was questioned in June about slowing down deliveries he said "We’re talking to them about whether some of that should be in October/November to make sure that we're smoothing out the deliveries so we don't end up with a whole lot in the freezer."
“Pfizer vaccines have a six-month shelf life. Getting delivery by the end of September would have given the Government until March 2022 to finish its roll out.
“This Government was slow to roll out the vaccine, administering only around 20,000 a day. It refused to ramp up training the right people. Now that it’s administering 90,000 a day, it’s going to run out of supply because it told Pfizer to slow down on delivering what was ordered.
“This is a Government has can’t organise a vaccination in a Pharmacy.
“COVID is hard, and it may be about to get harder. New Zealanders know the Government’s response is not perfect, but we deserve the truth."