NZ ticks off Janssen vaccine for use

·1-min read

New Zealand is sticking with its Pfizer-only COVID-19 vaccination strategy despite approving a second manufacturer for use.

Regulatory agency Medsafe has granted Janssen provisional approval for its coronavirus vaccine to be administered to Kiwis aged 18 and over.

"The medical evidence shows Janssen is a very safe and effective vaccine. It is a great addition to our vaccine options," COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said.

New Zealand has an advance purchase agreement for two million doses of the vaccine, which requires just one shot.

However, the approval won't change the government's intention to immunise all Kiwis with the two-shot Pfizer vaccine.

"While our plan remains to ramp up the roll-out using the Pfizer vaccine from here, having the option of the Janssen vaccine increases our choices and provides us with flexibility if we need it," Mr Hipkins said.

"As a single dose vaccine, it may be useful in hard to reach locations or emergencies, or for those who cannot get the Pfizer vaccine."

Australia, Canada and the USA have also approved the Janssen vaccine.

Following Medsafe's conditional tick, the NZ government is likely to clear the Janssen vaccine for use next month.

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