New Zealand health officials have revealed they are stuck in the queue to order monkeypox vaccine and are unsure when it will arrive.
At the same time, the government is declining to expand eligibility for a second COVID-19 booster, despite no shortage of that vaccine around the country.
Monkeypox (also known as MPX) cases continue to rise globally - more than 23,000 people in at least 75 countries have caught the virus.
New Zealand confirmed a third case this week.
Nick Chamberlain, National Public Health Service, National Director said New Zealand agencies "have been working to procure vaccines and antiviral treatments since we had our first case of monkeypox", which was July 9.
By that point, cases of monkeypox had already appeared in around three dozen non-endemic countries.
"The vaccine is only manufactured by one company in the world and there's a global shortage ... and there is considerable international demand," Dr Chamberlain said.
"We are part of a large number of countries who are endeavouring to access vaccine. Many have been unsuccessful."
Unlike New Zealand, Australia has received a small amount of monkeypox vaccine already.
On Thursday afternoon, Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said vaccines would be just one part of a "multi-factorial public health response".
"We're working to develop a public health response that includes all elements of keeping people safe," she said, saying PHARMAC was "pushing very hard" to get a vaccine.
This week, the Burnet Foundation Aotearoa and Sexual Health Society sounded the alarm on New Zealand's lax response to the global outbreak, calling on a suite of measures.
The most at-risk communities are men who have sex with men.
Dr Verrall said she "had been very clear with officials my expectation is that they work with members of the affected community to make sure that we do have effective and human rights compliant health promotional approach".
While New Zealand has just one active case of monkeypox, thousands continue to catch COVID-19 every day.
Still, health authorities have not signed off on expanding eligibility for a second booster shot, which remains unavailable to under-50s.
Opposition COVID-19 spokesman Chris Bishop said that was the "wrong decision".
"Australia has gone to 30-plus. I don'tunderstand why we wouldn't do that here," he said.
Previous Director of Health Ashley Bloomfield said a decision was due this week, but on Thursday Deputy Director General of Health Andrew Old said it was still being considered.
"The evidence for repeat boosters for over 50s is pretty good, in younger age groups it's less clear," he said.
Dr Old said the current wave looked to have peaked, but hospitalisations and deaths may continue to rise.
On Thursday, 49 Kiwis were added to the death toll, with 140 over the last week where COVID-19 was a contributing factor.