Pfizer Vaccine Good News But Where Is It?
Today’s news that Medsafe has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is good news but more certainty about when the vaccines will be delivered is required, says National’s COVID-19 Response spokesperson, Chris Bishop
“In November 2020, Chris Hipkins boasted that New Zealand would be first in the queue for COVID-19 vaccines but three months later, no vaccines have arrived and the government can’t say when they will.
The reality is the government has been a laggard when it comes to vaccines. Over 50 other countries have already started vaccinating their populations.
“The government has tough questions to answer regarding its contracts with the various vaccine suppliers. What do the contracts say on delivery dates? Did the government negotiate hard enough?
“The government’s latest argument is that other countries need the vaccine more than we do. Taken to its logical conclusion, that would mean no vaccines for New Zealanders for many years to come, which even the government isn’t proposing.
As Helen Clark pointed out, “the government’s got a duty to citizens to do the best it can to get us in the queue.”
The government told us in September our relative success in dealing with COVID-19 wouldn’t count against us in securing vaccine supplies yet now seems to think it should. This isn’t good enough. Vaccinating our frontline border workers is a moral and economic imperative, Mr Bishop says.