New Zealand purchases 500,000 additional COVID-19 vaccines as cluster grows
CANBERRA, Sept. 12 (Reuters) – New Zealand has purchased 500,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine (PFE.N) in Denmark, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Sunday, as the country grapples with a cluster of infections in its largest city.
New Zealand, which reported 20 locally acquired COVID-19 cases in Auckland on Sunday, said the vaccines would arrive within days. The latest epidemic now totals 599 infections since the first case was detected at the end of August.
“There are now more than enough vaccines in the country to immunize at the world’s highest rates we reached earlier this month, and I strongly encourage all New Zealanders not yet vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. possible, ”Ardern said in an e-mailed statement.
New Zealand, which until last month had largely contained COVID-19, struggled to eradicate the last group despite an Auckland lockdown for weeks.
About 1.7 million people in Auckland remain in a strict level four lockdown, but restrictions have been relaxed across the rest of the country.
About a third of New Zealand’s 5.1 million people have been fully immunized, one of the slowest rates among wealthy countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development group.
Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan
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