Coronavirus: New Zealand to produce vaccine with Australia, overseas developers

New Zealand will help produce a COVID-19 vaccine and further details are expected "within the next week", health officials have revealed.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there are no plans for the country to develop its own vaccine. It will instead work with Australia and other developers overseas.

Due to the high cost of creating a vaccine, he says it's in the best interest of New Zealand to work with other countries, but that doesn't mean Kiwi scientists won't be able to contribute to research or take part in clinical trials.

"There has been talk and there has been interest from different research groups. At this point, we're not anticipating [that] New Zealand's best endeavours are to put funding and effort into trying to develop a vaccine but rather to work alongside other vaccine developers," he said on Thursday.

"There is very active work underway between ourselves and MBIE to finalise an approach we're going to take as a country."

Dr Bloomfield added he's "very keen on taking an Anzac approach" by working with Australia.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there's a difference between developing and manufacturing a vaccine.

"Even if we're not necessarily directly involved in one part, we certainly can be in another."

According to the World Health Organization, there are currently seven candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation and 82 in pre-clinical evaluation around the world. However, it may take 12-18 months before a vaccine is ready for a mass global campaign.