Sunday, 29 August 2021

Time to be transparent and call in vaccine favours


“At current rates the Government is on track to run out of Pfizer doses on September 2nd. It needs to either source more doses, or slow down on the ‘incredible news’ of 90,000 vaccines per day,” says ACT Leader David Seymour

“Ninety thousand doses a day is 630,000 per week. Hipkins has said deliveries are 380,000 per week. That means they’re using up reserves at 250,000 per week. 

“The Ministry of Health reported 459,000 doses on hand as at Sunday 22nd, that’s less than two weeks reserve. At this rate, they will use up their reserves and run out around September 2nd, unless delivery numbers increase.

“The Government now needs to received 630,000 doses every week. Any less than that, it will have to reduce its current vaccination rate. If it only receives 380,000 this week, as last week, it will have to reduce rates by over a third, to under 60,000 per day. 

“The Government says these numbers don’t allow for doses that have already left their warehouses, but that is just a lack of transparency. Hipkins said on Sunday August 22nd that the Government had 750,000 doses, implying the number could be as high as 300,000 doses throughout the network. That could buy them an extra week. They need to explain how many that remaining buffer is and give citizens a full picture of their position.

“One alternative is to call in some favours. For a long time the Prime Minister has said we are being a good global citizen, leaving doses for other countries. Now New Zealand is in crisis, struggling to contain an outbreak, it is time to ask, are our friends around the world prepared to ship their reserves now in return for future New Zealand deliveries 

“Another alternative is new vaccine types. As ACT has said, the Pfizer only strategy has a major supply limitation. The Janssen vaccine was Medsafe approved on July 7th, but there is still no word on supply, let alone roll out. The New Zealand Government donated Astra Zenica shots to Fiji, but not all of those procured, can it not bring some here?

“The Government needs to tell the truth about vaccine supply. How many does it have in total, when does it expect to run out and what is it doing to increase supply? Citizens deserve full transparency on this basic matter in a crisis."