New Zealand to support Pacific neighbours in accessing Covid-19 vaccines

New Zealand is preparing to support its Pacific neighbours with access to Covid-19 vaccines as soon as it can.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed $75 million had been earmarked to support Pacific and global vaccine access and roll-out. 

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

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

PMN News reports Mahuta said Pacific countries had worked hard to keep the virus out, but their success had been "hard-won". 

She said the vaccine would be "key to the region’s economic and social recovery".

Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio says New Zealand will buy sufficient vaccines to cover the Realm countries of Tokelau, Niue and Cook Islands, and Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu if their governments want to take them up.