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Chris Bishop is tilting at Covid windmills

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, May 26th, 2021 - 32 comments
Categories: chris bishop, covid-19, health, national, same old national - Tags:

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.

32 comments on “Chris Bishop is tilting at Covid windmills ”

  1. Pete 1

    Bishop is just trying to make out he's relevant. The funny thing is for him to be on about trying to get too many vaccines out of a vial.

    Is that a case of a useless prick complaining about useful pricks?😊

    • mac1 1.1

      He's trying to get under the government's skin but he'll have to try another vein as his needle is, to put it bluntly, not even superficial………

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    Scary though about the virus in Victoria, and here is hoping those coming to NZ do watch their health and react quickly. Let us hope no asymptomatic cases come over to ski.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    NZ National has a vaccine specialist as well as a General Practitioner in their Parliamentary ranks?

    The main element of luck or good fortune NZ has had so far during COVID–is surely that National was not, and is not, the Government!

    Going by various media statements from the Nats the country closed borders too soon, not soon enough, Travel bubbles should have started sooner, foreign students admitted sooner with their MI conducted on campus…migrant workers admitted sooner etc.

    Many more than 26 New Zealanders would likely have died to date from COVID if National’s more permissive line on borders, lockdowns, isolation and mask wearing had prevailed.

  4. Incognito 4

    • gsays 4.1

      I have to admit to a degree of surprise last night when I learnt that there are 4/5/6 or 7 doses in each vial.

      Not sure why, but I figured it would be one dose, one vial.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        Nope, the manufacturer’s label says five doses. There was some confusion whether this meant that the left over needed to be discarded but FDA (and others) cleared that up with the manufacturer (see Tweet). Under certain circumstances, it is possible to get seven full doses from one vial. Each shot needs to be 0.3 mL (30 µg) and the total volume is ca. 2.25 mL, which leaves a total unused/dead volume of 0.15 mL in the vial, needles & syringes, which is tight and supa economical/efficient.

  5. Treetop 5

    Has a 6th or 7th vial dose been checked for efficacy compared to a vial 5th dose?

    • Incognito 5.1

      Unnecessary, as they all come from the same solution in the vial. As long as the vial is not left sitting around on the table but used up promptly, all shots should be equally effective. In any case, you get two shots 😉

    • Sabine 5.2

      The whole world has been pulling all the doses they could and administered them without a problem so far. It has been known since last year that one can with the right needle extract at least an extra dose.

  6. McFlock 6

    Chris Bishop wants to be able to complain that Pfizer are short-serving the government because you can only get six doses from a vial if you use a special needle…

  7. nic181 7

    Chris Bishop is full of it. He rates his own importance above any commonsense!

  8. Muttonbird 9

    Remember that time Chris Bishop broke two MIQ returnees out of isolation so they could drive all over the country and potentially infect others?

  9. Tricledrown 10

    National continuously crying wolf looses what little traction they had.most people roll their eyes and think what a bunch of complete dicks.

    [deleted spurious “k” from user name again]

  10. “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.”

    Britain is an island….127,000 deaths so far.

  11. AB 12

    Everything Bishop does is in bad faith. The goal is to discredit the government for something/anything (exactly what doesn't matter) so the Nats can get back onto the Treasury benches and let the looting of the public domain for private profit resume.

  12. Enough is Enough 13

    I was just listeing to the acting Premier in Victoria announcing the new 7 day lockdown. He mentioned his frustration over the speed (or lack thereof) of the vaccine rollout over there, for the very obvious reason that lockdowns will continue until the rollout is complete.

    We are in the same place where everyday its a fingers crossed day that this thing doesn't leak out again.

    For those who don't care that our vaccine rollout is slow, just look over at Victoria. With it being likely we are probably 12 months away from reaching the 70% vaccinated rate, it almost inevitable we will have the same misfortune at some point.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1

      The outbreak in Melbourne is a worry, but the Victorian government knows what to do.

      Covid-19 vaccine rollout in NZ is exceeding DHB targets, and that's running vaccine stocks low. Our Gummit could over-promise, but how/who would that help?

      Government above Covid-19 vaccine roll-out target, but delays loom for group 4
      Most district health boards continue to exceed their targets for the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, with Canterbury 29 per cent over its goal and Nelson-Marlborough and Bay of Plenty beating it by 60 per cent.

      New Zealand has now administered more than half a million Covid-19 vaccine doses, and remains at eight per cent above its target.

      Despite this, the vaccine roll-out for group four, the general population, has been moved to the end of July, the Ministry of Health said, a delay of a number of weeks from the initial intention.

      https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-getting-vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-rollout

      • Enough is Enough 13.1.1

        The speed is a non-issue at the moment.

        Hopefully we don't need to go into another lockdown, but if we do, the speed of that rollout will certainly become an issue.

        Self determined low targets rates won't really matter if that scenrio arises.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1.1.1

          Speed of rollout depends on vaccine supply. Since no political party or agency in NZ can 'magic up' more doses of pandemic vaccines we're stuck with what we can get, similar to all countries (small and big) that can't mass-manufacture these vaccines.

          I'd be interested to know what resources our Government is allocating to acquiring vaccine doses more rapidly, always remembering that the need in some countries is (much) greater and more urgent than our own.

          https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-strategy-planning-insights/covid-19-purchasing-vaccines

          • Enough is Enough 13.1.1.1.1

            always remembering that the need in some countries is (much) greater and more urgent than our own

            Do you think that is a consideration for the Ministry of Health when procuring the vacinne?

            Its a convenient political line that I have heard Minsters use quite often, but do you think our government is seriously saying internally,

            "hey, we will not will not rush the rollout, we will keep the borders closed for another 12 months, and run the risk of further hard lockdowns, because there are countries worse off than us "

            • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Do you think that is a consideration for the Ministry of Health when procuring the vacinne?

              At a guess, it seems unlikely. I am, however, certain that "the need in some countries is (much) greater and more urgent than our own." Tbh, I'd be surprised if any opposition ACT or National party MPs used that "political line" – it’s an inconvenient truth (for them) that NZ once again tops Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking.

              https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-resilience-ranking/

              Btw, what's the source of your "hey, we will not rush the rollout…" quote? I agree with not rushing the rollout ('haste makes waste'), and with the use of prudent travel restrictions to minimise the chance of a domestic lockdown.

              Rates of COVID-19 vaccination are determined by vaccine availability – if Seymour or Bishop have a plan to increase vaccine availabilty for NZers then please stop yapping and tell us, but I'm not holding my breath.

              https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines

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