Yesterday, I covered how New Zealand and South Korea are drawing from humanitarian COVAX vaccine supplies due to their failures to order their vaccines sufficiently in advance. The initial distribution forecast from the COVAX facility shows that:

  • New Zealand is to receive 249,600 doses of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
  • South Korea is to receive 2,596,800 doses of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

In total, there are only 4 OECD countries drawing from COVAX vaccine supplies; New Zealand, South Korea, Canada and Singapore. The Canadian Government has since come under the most sharp criticism for drawing of COVAX supplies and have defended their decision on the basis of their financial contributions to COVAX.

I have provided the COVAX AMC contributions for New Zealand, South Korea and Canada; alongside the United Kingdom as a comparison. I have also provided calculations for these countries on a per capita basis too. Singapore is not included as they are not listed as a GAVI donor, so is not calculated below.

New Zealand comes out clearly at the bottom of this list both on an absolute and a per capita basis. British citizens have contributed $8.17 per person to the COVAX AMC, not drawn any COVAX vaccine supplies alongside paying the R&D costs and volunteering for clinical trials for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to be sold globally at-cost. By contrast, New Zealand has only contributed $0.71 per head to the COVAX AMC and New Zealand is not even manufacturing vaccines, let alone developing one of its own.

New Zealand's entire GAVI contribution is represented in this $0.71 per head figure. Canada's total GAVI contributions per head amounted to $14.87 whilst the United Kingdom's contribution amounted to $39.37. In absolute terms, New Zealanders have contributed only 0.03% of donor contributions to the GAVI vaccine alliance.

Whilst New Zealand's isolationist policy extends to their limited contributions to international vaccine efforts, they have shamelessly drawn from the same supplies limiting supplies for poorer countries where COVID-19 transmission is high. This draws further ethical questions on their "Zero COVID" strategy employed by the New Zealand Government, which purports to be left-wing and internationalist.

COVAX AMC $ Contributions (% Compared to all Donors)

* The UK is not drawing any vaccines from COVAX supplies and is included only for comparative purposes.

COVAX AMC $ Contribution per Capita

  • New Zealand: $0.71
  • Canada: $3.96
  • South Korea: $6.89
  • United Kingdom*: $8.17

* The UK is not drawing any vaccines from COVAX supplies and is included only for comparative purposes.

GAVI $ Contribution per Capita (Total National Contribution as a % of all Donors)

  • New Zealand: $0.71 (0.03%)
  • Canada: $14.87 (5.5%)
  • South Korea: $1.77 (0.3%)
  • United Kingdom*: $39.37 (25.8%)

* The UK is not drawing any vaccines from COVAX supplies and is included only for comparative purposes.