Did Chippie ask Pfizer to slow down vaccine delivery?

NewstalkZB reports:

The Government is possibly running out of vaccines in September and it could be their own fault. 

In May Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Newstalk ZB that Pfizer had confirmed that New Zealand would receive 8 million doses in the third quarter, saying “we will get them all by the end of September.” 

But the shipment has now been revealed to be being delivered in October, leaving the possibility of New Zealand running out of vaccines in September. 

But looking back at a June interview Heather du Plessis-Allan did with Hipkins, it revealed the delay may be the Government’s own doing. In the interview he said that while Pfizer was still committed to the September deadline, the Government was talking to them about delivering some of those doses in October and November. 

Auckland University Emeritus Professor Des Gorman says he’s “gobsmacked” to find that [the Government] have “been deliberately delaying or asking for deliveries to be delayed.”  

A delay that will cause our vaccination rate to go down, in the middle of a lockdown, which Gorman attributes to being because we don’t have a high vaccination rate. 

Hipkins in his June interview suggested the delay was to make sure “we don’t end up with a whole lot sitting in the freezer.” But Gorman says they can last for very long periods of time and last weeks or months once defrosted.

If what Hipkins said is correct, this is a huge blunder. It means we told Pfizer to slow down delivery!

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