More Covid vaccines for Samoa and Tonga from NZ

New Zealand has donated additional Pfizer vaccines to Tonga and Samoa.

The Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said Aotearoa New Zealand is donating an additional 9,300 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Tonga, and 10,000 doses to Samoa,

She said it is part of this country's ongoing commitment to global vaccination efforts and to support vaccine rollout in the Pacific.

This donation brings New Zealand's total vaccine donations to over 47,000 for Tonga and 94,000 for Samoa.

The Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio said the vaccines will enable frontline workers and vulnerable populations to access a booster as early as possible,.

The foreign minister said with Tonga in lockdown and Covid detected at the border in Samoa, "ensuring populations are boosted will play a key role in mitigating the impacts of an outbreak."

An Air Force Hercules is flying to Tonga today carrying the vaccines, rapid antigen tests, and equipment to support re-establishing the electrical network in the wake of last month's eruption.