Right now, in terms of our Covid response, New Zealand is in a unique position. It has no community spread of Covid and its level of restrictions is the most permissive in the world.
Some of the other nations are not doing so well.
Melbourne has had another outbreak. Nine cases within three families have appeared within the past couple of days. And one of the cases attended an AFL game with 23,000 other Victorians. This is potentially the stuff of nightmares.
Taiwan has dramatically fallen off its perch as having the world’s best response to the virus. New case numbers have spiked to 400 a day.
Japan is struggling to hold the spread of the virus as the Olympics beckon.
Fiji has had 18 new cases and is also on the verge of losing control.
And another former top performer, Singapore, is also struggling to hold the virus back.
It is clear that unless you are on top of your game, and have a science based approach as well as a bit of luck you will be in trouble.
Some on the right suggest that our position is all to do with luck. We are an island nation removed from the rest of the world. Last time I checked Australia, Japan, Fiji and Taiwan were also island nations. Geographic remoteness helps but clearly more than that is required.
Our continuing good fortune is shown in this stringency index graph.
And it is also shown in this new confirmed cases graph.
All of our cases from the past few months have been located in quarantine.
So what does an opposition do?
How about complaining that the Government is trying to squeeze too many vaccines out of a vial. From TVNZ:
The Ministry of Health is being questioned over whether it’s following official guidelines with the Covid-19 vaccine.Some vaccinators have been able to extract more than the recommended number of doses from a single vial.
Pfizer guidelines state that each vial contains up to six doses and each dose must contain 0.3 millilitres of the vaccine.
Any leftover less than that should be discarded.
It also notes not to mix remaining vaccine from multiple vials .
However, some vaccinators are getting a full extra dose with the use of a specific needle.
“Those new needles have allowed us to get in some cases seven doses out of each vial which is great, it means we can stretch them even further,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says.
But Bish is clearly happy to take on the person most influential in getting us to our current situation:
National questions whether that goes beyond what’s been approved.
“The issue here is that Pfizer’s official recommendation is to take five or six doses only, if it’s technically possible to take seven then Pfizer should say so,” National’s Covid-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“The concern with getting seven is that there may be some people who haven’t got the exact right amount of dosage that they’re meant to get,” Bishop said.
I would be happy to leave this one to the experts. They have managed things well so far despite everything the opposition has thrown at them.