Third COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax, approved

New Zealanders will soon be able to access a third type of COVID-19 vaccine, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine will be available to people aged 18 and over, following Cabinet’s confirmation yesterday,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Novavax is a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine and while the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine remains the preferred vaccine of most New Zealanders, for some people, the arrival of Novavax will be the extra incentive required to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There’s no reason to doubt that with the introduction of Novavax, New Zealand can continue to nudge up our vaccination rates. We’re already one of the most highly vaccinated countries in the world – at 95 per cent of people aged 12 and over – and we can go higher still, which will make us all safer.

“The first doses are anticipated to arrive in New Zealand this month and officials are working with Novavax to confirm the delivery schedule and rollout start date.

“In the meantime, work is underway to prepare for the use of Novavax in the immunisation programme. This includes workforce training and ensuring logistics measures are in place to ensure that those who want to be vaccinated with the Novavax vaccine will have this option,” Chris Hipkins said.