New Zealand close to COVID-19 vaccine approval

Medsafe says it is close to approving the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine according to a statement released today.

New Zealand’s medicines regulator has assessed the vaccine and an expert advisory committee is reviewing the report. Medsafe may be able to grant provisional approval for the vaccine’s use for as soon as February 3.

The Government intends to vaccinate border and MIQ staff and their close contacts first to add another layer to the country’s border defences. Once the vaccine arrives in New Zealand, the Government expects to be able to complete vaccinating this group within two to three weeks.

It is hoped vaccinating the general population can begin around the middle of the year.

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Image: UN