New Zealand Receives First Batch Of Pfizer COVID Vaccine

Wellington: The first shipment of 60,000 doses of a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has arrived in New Zealand on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The news comes as New Zealand put its most populous city of Auckland on three-day Level 3 lockdown after detecting three Covid-19 community cases, which were the more transmissible UK virus variant. The rest of the country moved to Level 2 lockdown for the same period. The restrictions will be reviewed on a 24-hour basis.

The shipment arrived on a Singapore Airlines flight from Belgium via Singapore.

Global cases have reached 108,812,060, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 2,399,789.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s drug regulator says it has approved an implementation study of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine but is still reviewing its full market application. The implementation study will target inoculating between 350,000 to 500,000 health care workers, with the first batch of 80,000 doses expected to arrive this week.