COVID-19 vaccine strategy

The COVID-19 vaccine strategy sets out the Government's mission to ensure that New Zealand has access to a safe and effective vaccine as early as possible.

The strategy aims to secure a vaccine – safe, effective and in sufficient quantities – at the earliest possible time. It will ensure New Zealand has detailed knowledge of key international research efforts and an ability to assess promising vaccine candidates as they emerge.

The COVID-19 vaccine strategy is based around five pillars:

  • Connecting globally to contribute to all aspects of vaccine development, distribution and use
  • Investing in research that contributes to global efforts, builds relationships and supports early access to a vaccine
  • Developing the ability to manufacture in case it is needed to secure supply
  • Optimising regulatory approaches to ensure safety, support research and enable manufacturing
  • Using purchasing arrangements to secure supply where possible and to enhance resilience

A domestic and international response

New Zealand’s efforts will be part of a global coalition led by the EU whereby countries are cooperating to find a vaccine as quickly as possible.

The Government has allocated $37 million to the COVID-19 vaccine strategy.  

  • $10 million to support research in New Zealand with an addition $5 million to support manufacturing capability.
  • Up to $15 million for international research collaboration including those managed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
  • $7 million in official development assistance will go to the vaccine alliance, Gavi, which distributes vaccines to developing countries.

New Zealand will also advocate internationally for the equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, with a particular focus on ensuring our Pacific Island partners can access it when needed.

Task force

A task force has been set up to oversee implementation of the strategy.

The task force consists of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Health and its regulatory and purchasing agencies Medsafe and Pharmac, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Independent science and technical advisors will also support the task force with expert advice.

Last updated: 26 May 2020