The Covid-19 vaccine policy would cost New Zealand $1.4 billion.

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The government is spending $1.4 billion on the Covid vaccine roll-out, according to Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

Minister for the Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins.

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

For the first time, the government has announced the exact cost of the vaccine, which will be distributed over two years.

Nearly a billion dollars has been put aside for vaccines and the specialised facilities used to administer them.

This covers vaccinations that the world may not yet have and could never use, but for which New Zealand has advanced procurement agreements.

The minister stated that enough had been bought to help the Pacific roll-out and that any leftovers could be used later.

About $400 million will be used for technology, and for funding the district health boards and Medsafe.Watch the latest update from Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield here:

As of midnight last night there have been 474,435 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine delivered across NZ – that’s an increase of more than 80,000 on last week, Hipkins says.

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In a press conference this afternoon, Hipkins stated that more than 152,000 patients have received their second dose of the vaccine, ensuring that they are fully protected.

Yesterday, over 14,000 doses were delivered.

Hipkins predicted that they would cross the half-million mark in total doses over the next 48 hours.

“That’s a pretty significant milestone in this phase of the campaign,” he says.

Hipkins stated that the $1.4 billion includes the vaccination portfolio’s existing obligations – the four vaccinations with advanced procurement agreements.

Meanwhile, officials are investigating a recent death in New Zealand following a Covid-19 vaccine – but initial information suggests there is no link.

Hipkins has confirmed a death has been reported to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring.

He said the coroner is looking into the death, but that did not mean it is related to the vaccine.

The Centre has previously ruled three other deaths of people who were immunised to be unrelated to the vaccine.

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