New Zealand spending $75 million to help Pacific nations access Covid-19 vaccine

Anga’ofa ‘a Nu’u Sila ke kumi ‘a e vekisini (faito’o) ki he Koviti-19 ma’a Tonga mo e ngaahi ‘otu kehe he Pasifiki’ kau ai ‘a Tokelau, Niue, Kuki’ailani, Tuvalu mo Ha’amoa. Ko e $75 miliona 'e faka'aonga'i ki he fakamole ko 'eni kau ai 'a e kakai 'o Nu'u Sila' kotoa.

By Anna Whyte of TVNZ. This story is republished with permission

New Zealand is supporting the Pacific’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out with a $75 million package to ensure the region has effective and fast access to immunisation.

Nanaia Mahuta. Source: Q+A

It comes as the Government today confirmed it had purchased enough vaccines to cover the entire population of New Zealand and the Pacific.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said a vaccine would be key to the region’s economic and social recovery.

“New Zealand is pursuing a portfolio of potential Covid-19 vaccines to ensure we have flexibility and choice in the fast-moving global marketplace,” she said.

“We want to make sure Pacific countries can also access suitable options, and have the support they need to run successful immunisation campaigns.”

New Zealand would buy enough vaccines to cover Realm countries of Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands and also Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu if the Governments want to take up the offer.

Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio said New Zealand was best placed “to support these countries directly because of our constitutional relationships in the Realm, and the strong links between our health systems and our close people-to-people ties across Polynesia”

“We will also be scaling up existing health investments to enable us to play our part in vaccine roll-out.”

Accordings to Johns Hopkins University, Samoa has recovered two cases of coronavirus, while Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu have managed to keep it out.

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