​Encouraging news about a Covid-19 vaccine being developed in N.Z.

by The REJIGIT Blog

The Malaghan Medical Research Institute is based at Wellington, New Zealand.

It is an internationally renowned, independent biomedical research institute with a primary focus on research relating to immunology and immunotherapy.

More than one hundred and fourty researchers including scientists and doctors operate in purpose built facilities at Victoria University of Wellington.

The Institute collaborates with a number of international research establishments including Harvard University, the University of Oxford, James Cook University, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Czech Academy of Science et al.

The Institute was established with the hugely generous financial assistance of Mr Len Malaghan and his wife Ann. Len was the then Managing Director of General Foods Corporation (New Zealand) and a director of J. Wattie Canneries. He developed Hodgkin's disease, which bought about his death in 1967 and Ann continued as a significant benefactor to the Institute until her death in 1991. Their son Graham is the current chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees and their grandson Matthew is a board member.

In 2020 the New Zealand Government established a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, “Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand” (VAANZ) which comprises the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, ESR, South Pacific Sera, Avalia Immunotherapies and AgResearch together with other local and international collaborators. With ongoing funding from the New Zealand Government, VAANZ is a public-private partnership.

VAANZ is working on a mRNA spike protein booster vaccine and interim results published In April 2022 demonstrate a strong immune response to the vaccine across a group of New Zealanders and it is proposed to move to a phase one clinical trial at speed.

Rejigit applauds this work and it will be a much more satisfactory situation which avoids the massive outflow of purchase payments to international pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Further on the subject of Covid-19 vaccine; Rejigit is puzzled. The New Zealand Ministry of Health is presently making individual contact with New Zealanders who are eligible but have not yet fronted up for a second vaccine booster shot. It is reasonable to assume that the said booster shot would be from existing vaccine stock.

On New Zealand TV1 Q+A television program - 18 September, the New Zealand Minister for COVID-19 Response, Dr Ayesha Verrall discussed new generation Omicron tailored booster shots which have recently been made available in the U.S. She confirmed that there is an application underway from Pfizer with New Zealand’s Medsafe medical regulatory authority for that vaccine and it will undergo the normal review process.

It begs the question; why would one front for a booster shot of an existing vaccine with unproven efficacy in terms of Covid-19 variants and mutations when a new and all encompassing vaccine booster is about to be approved for use in New Zealand,