In the flurry of global vaccine purchases, one southern Pacific country is securing vaccines for its neighbors. On December 17, New Zealand announced that it has signed two additional pre-purchase agreements for Covid-19 vaccines -- enough for the entire population of New Zealand to be vaccinated starting mid-2021. In addition, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said New Zealand would purchase enough vaccines for nearby Pacific Island nations like Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands, as well as neighbors including Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu, if those countries decide to take up the offer. The government is allocating $75 million from its development assistance budget to help roll out the vaccine to those countries. Mahuta said in a statement, "Pacific countries have worked hard to keep Covid-19 out, or to stamp it out, and New Zealand has been committed to supporting them in this."

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