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The Latest: New Zealand to use only Pfizer virus vaccine

2021 Mar 08, 14:23, Wellington, New Zealand
A woman receives a shot of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination for people above the age of 60 at Adam Malik Hospital in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Monday, March 8, 2021. The world's fourth most populous country plans to vaccinate two-thirds of its population of about 270 million people, or just over 180 million people in a campaign that is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

New Zealand says it will now use only the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate its population against the coronavirus, departing from earlier plans to use four different vaccines.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the strategy Monday, saying the decision was based on the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness. She said this would make it easier and fairer for all New Zealanders to have access to the same vaccine.

However, the strategy may also be driven in part by delays in getting vaccines approved. So far, New Zealand’s medical regulators have approved only the Pfizer vaccine and are reviewing two other shots.

Ardern said New Zealand has purchased 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to inoculate all 5 million residents with the required two doses each. She said most of the doses are expected to arrive in New Zealand during the second half of this year.

New Zealand has so far completed inoculations of only a few thousand people, mainly border workers. The country has stamped out community spread of the virus, and inoculations are not considered as urgent as in many other countries.

New Zealand Pfizer coronavirus doses medical

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