The doses are on top of New Zealand’s regular shipments from Pfizer and come a few days after officials announced a similar deal with Spain for more than 250,000 extra doses. New Zealand was slow to get its vaccination program running but has seen demand spike since an outbreak of the delta variant in Auckland last month.
That had left the country in danger of running out of doses ahead of a large scheduled shipment in October. New Zealand’s government has been attempting to eliminate the virus entirely in Auckland by imposing a lockdown but is finding the delta variant hard to stamp out, with another 20 daily community cases reported on Sunday. About 54% of people in New Zealand have had at least one dose and 28% are fully vaccinated.