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How Covid may play out

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, November 15th, 2021 - 74 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, uncategorized - Tags:

So Aotearoa New Zealand finds itself in a situation where pretty well every other nation in the world has found itself repeatedly.  We have now had four Covid waves.  The first three were dealt with fairly quickly.  This Delta wave is proving to be much more tricky.

In the case of Germany, which is one of the most advanced nations in the world and has some of the best health systems imaginable, they are now in their fifth wave.  England is just finishing the effects of its fifth wave.  On the scale of things Aotearoa’s first two waves were mere ripples.

National continues to claim that saliva antigen tests would have changed the result for us.  How you may ask.  By allowing an individual to purchase some testing kits, then muck up the result and it will be fine.  And even if they conduct the test properly in every case they will stay home if the result is bad?  I cannot believe how bizarre this claim is.  The current problem is that Aucklanders have not been perfect in their respect of the border.  Allowing everyone to self test and then trusting them to respect the result will not work.  Believe me.

What is interesting is how the pandemic is rolling out compared to the Government’s modelling.  Rowan Quinn at Radio New Zealand provided this graphic to show the Government’s modelling from late October.  It predicted that today’s numbers would be 1,300 weekly infections, 74 in hospital and 15 in ICU.  The actual figures yesterday were 1,253 new cases, 90 in hospital including four being assessed and 7 in ICU.

The modelling predicts a plateauing of new cases over the next two weeks.

The virus is clearly leaking out of Auckland.  For those complaining about how difficult it was to get through the boarder the answer would appear to be not difficult enough.  But the strict lockdown has played its part.  Vaccination rates throughout the country have improved significantly although in poor and isolated areas not by enough.

And the vaccinations are clearly having an effect.  We are not seeing the run away numbers that New South Wales experienced.

For those who still oppose vaccinations this sobering statistic from Health speaks volumes.  Of 90 hospitalisations in Auckland the number of unvaccinated people were 50, partially vaccinated for less than 14 days were 9, partially vaccinated for more than 14 days were 10, fully vaccinated for less than 14 days were 2 and fully vaccinated were 9.  The status of 5 were unknown.  Given that Auckland is approaching 90% fully vaccinated status this is a stark reminder of the utility of vaccinations.

And for those who think that the local form of the vaccination mandate is extreme in Austria, where vaccination rates are lower than in New Zealand, unvaccinated individuals who are older than 12 are prohibited from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as working, grocery shopping, going for a walk or getting vaccinated.

The next couple of weeks could be tough.  Hang in there everyone.

Update:  from Rowan Quinn at Radio New Zealand this morning:

Latest modelling suggests Auckland’s Covid-19 outbreak is on track to reach a peak by the end of November – unless shopping gets in the way.

But there is a warning that some other pockets of the country may be in for a bumpy ride.

Te Punaha Matatini data modeller Shaun Hendy said case numbers were expected to get as high as 300 a day before tapering off in the current most likely scenario.

“That’s still a lot, but it’s better than some of the worse case scenarios where things don’t peak until December or January and then we see much worse case numbers,” he said.

But there was a strong caveat to the prediction.

It was still unclear what impact allowing shops to open at level 3.2 would have on case numbers – and whether that relaxation would cause people to break the rules more, Hendy said.

Under the more serious scenario, if the virus moved faster than vaccinations could take effect, cases could be at 1000 a day by Christmas.

But Hendy said vaccinations were going well in Auckland, and it was hoped the high rates might start to have an impact on daily cases numbers by the end of the month.

Fingers crossed …

74 comments on “How Covid may play out ”

  1. Reality 1

    The Dominion Post today has a full page tantrum ad Why Say No, from Chris Leitch, Party Leader, Social Credit. Never having heard of him and or knowing whether he has any medical knowledge it is disturbing his obscure group have the audacity to try to influence people. He wants home based tests and early treatment (whatever that is). He must be very naive if thinks people using home based tests can always be relied on to be honest or to use the tests accurately.

    All these fringe dwellers seem to think their time for attention and influence has finally arrived and are jumping on the bandwagon. I have not come across one person in the last week or so who think they have any logic or offer a better alternative. They are demanding freedom and rights, but fail to accept any responsibilities.

    • mikesh 1.1

      Social Credit's monetary policies deserve consideration, but I they should stay away from covid19 issues. Obviously they are just trying remain in the public eye.

      • Nic the NZer 1.1.1

        Thats definitely just the trick. Random internet guy (who refers to a political parties economic policy as monetary policy) should decide what is a valid issue for a political party to advertise about.

      • Tricledrown 1.1.2

        Social Credit is virtually non existent these days.1200 votes its its barely registering. Its obvious that any party that wants to gain popularity is the need for a leader who is charismatic and an excellent communicator.

    • georgecom 1.2

      home based tests as an extra layer of security when we migrate to the traffic lights

      yes Chris, I am sure that option will become available for people of they want it

      and early treatment, at home. yes, quarantining at home where practicable. We already have that

  2. Ad 2

    My employer – one of the largest in the country – is collecting proof of vaccination record identified by person, and they will be supplying some form of it to the government.

    This is how they really get your detail.

    They are expecting that this will apply to all employers.

    Get ready.

    • DukeEll 2.1

      Imagine the health and safety implications if some one was knowingly unvaccinated and was allowed to work and spread it.

      which is not the same as a mandate before that garbage argument kicks off. Employment is a mutual choice by both parties. Unvaccinated can choose not work. Employers cannot opt out of looking after all their employees health and safety

      • Ad 2.1.1

        The big employers will get their systems privacy tested, and the main clients, and requiring it. There's no avoiding it.

        It's the degree of information shared with the state and what they do with it that needs more scrutiny.

      • roy cartland 2.1.2

        Even Chomsky agrees that the unvaxed should be kept away from the general populace for public safety. If they run out of food, well yes we should help them, but as for letting them run amok and endanger everyone – no. This is Noam Chomsky btw, one of the strongest and most consistent voices against corporate and state power. Hardly an elite, authoritarian shill.

        https://zcomm.org/znet/

        That's where I found the video, sorry I can't be more specific; but he says as much here:

        https://nationalpost.com/news/world/noam-chomsky-says-the-unvaccinated-should-just-remove-themselves-from-society

      • lprent 2.1.3

        Vaccinated can and should be able to not have to work with people who are un-vaccinated.

        That is my personal choice because the willfully un-vaccinated are choosing to share their choice of risk with me and I really don't want to carry that risk. It is not only infecting myself – but also everyone else I come in contact with. My aged parent, relatives…

        At some point I will be requesting an legally binding assurance from my employer that I'm not working closely (and that means in an air-conditioned open plan office with common areas) with someone with a significantly higher risk of being infectious than I am.

        Covid-19 is going to be around for at least the rest of this decade. Currently we're seeing the 5th wave going through major states with the amplitude of the event barely dropping. I suspect that it is going to be a long time before the significiant variants stop triggering new waves. As I pointed out last year, this is a complex virus that is endemic in social species populations.

        Plus of course we have been averaging a new zoonotic diseases jumping into human population ever 5 years in recent decades – with an increasing frequency compared to the 20th century. We may as well start planning on it happening at a personal and legal level.

        I can always find a new employer who is compliant with my requirements. It is way lot harder to replace dead or severely injured (ie long-covid) people who I care about.

        • gsays 2.1.3.1

          "….with someone with a significantly higher risk of being infectious than I am."

          I assume to make this clear, you will be partaking regularly (weekly) in testing?

          • lprent 2.1.3.1.1

            What is your point? Because you sound like you don't understand much about infection and immune responses.

            Infection risk is complex risk – it has very little to do with testing unless that is frequent enough to detect infection before people become very infectious. Weekly testing simply isn't that useful.

            At best that is a 7 day window on a PCR or saliva test on an infection that takes between 2-4 days with Delta to go from infection to infectious – when testing can finally detect it because it is too infrequent.

            Delta is strongest at delivering the viral load to others immediately after becoming infectious, often before the afflicted themselves are aware of being infected, and before the secondary and tertiary immune systems come in to suppress try to suppress it.

            Being vaccinated or having previously had a particular disease almost invariably gives far faster immune responses.

            Infection risk is diagnostically risk related to how large the viral load that you come in contact with. The larger the delivery, the more capable that the transferred community of viruses is able to overwhelm initial immunity defences and gain a foothold.

            Having a faster immune response due to vaccination or previous recovery means that it takes longer before a infection gains a significiant foothold – because the cells kill themselves or get killed rather than becoming factories to produce me viruses. That is what shows up in studies on the vaccines and on those who recover. They can still get infected. But that have a much lower viral release when they are infected.

            That equates directly into reducing the volume of viral load that can be dispersed by the infected before they or someone else notices their infection. Which reduces the probability of others getting infected. Existing immune response significantly reduce the risk to me and others by orders of magnitude in a way that detection after a week or so after the infection occurs cannot.

            So doing what you just did – looking at a single largely irrelevant factor (weekly testing) when what I was discussing was getting infected and then infecting other is just mindlessly stupid because it isn't assessing risk in any logical way. It is just the actions of a dumbarse list ticker – who has a list with just one item on it because they are too lazy to look at all of the risk reducing factors.

            For my personal risks assessment others of myself getting tested weekly bears little to no risk relationship to the degree of infection I could get exposed to in the first critical week once someone else gets infected or the degree to which I expose other once I am infected.

            What it does do is to make it easier for contract tracers to identify spread after the fact – which is useful for reducing spread and of no use to me, for my family, for workmates or for friends who get infected by me or others between tests.

            Now that you have been educated a bit.

            I assume to make this clear, you will be looking at relevant risk factors about the probability or my getting infected in the workspace by the un-vaccinated and then the risk of me infecting others…. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen because this may exceed the remaining lifetime of our galaxy..

            • gsays 2.1.3.1.1.1

              My point is, in creating the 'workplace vaccination safe-place', your part of the bargain, should involve regular testing. Twice a week from what you are saying above. Also big cultural shifts around hand hygiene, contract tracing and mask use.

              As you so eloquently point out, "…it is going to be a long time before the significiant variants stop triggering new waves." Infection rates among the vaxxed is climbing, efficacy in Pfizer's product is 'shifting'.

              To put faith in keeping the workplace 'vaxxed to the max' sounds a bit like "the actions of a dumbarse list ticker".

              • barry

                If you ONLY rely on vaccination then you might be a "dumbarse list ticker".

                Vaccination (with boosters) along with testing, masking and isolation as required is our (medium term) future. The more people that are vaccinated then the less often we need to resort to masks and isolating.

              • Patricia Bremner

                That 6 month shift in the efficacy of the vaccine is able to be controlled by the use of boosters.

                "actions of a dumbarse list ticker". Well they used this system to beat poliomyelitis, small pox, and tuberculosis.

                Denigration of dumb people aside, give me a "list ticker" in this situation any day. To keep the vulnerable safe we do need to be methodical.

                Testing is too late in the infection cycle as it confirms spread possibility and does nothing to mitigate it, vaccination or a booster gets ahead of the curve in limiting the viral load.

                There will still be risks as this is a difficult virus to control.

                Sadly in this day and age collective action is seen as communism, which divides ordinary people and makes health mandates necessary in times of crisis.

                One in four delta victims will have a long debilitating outcome, meaning those people with long covid will need treatment as further cases come in. As numbers double every 14+ days overload comes quite quickly.

                • gsays

                  "That 6 month shift in the efficacy of the vaccine is able to be controlled by the use of boosters."

                  This speaks to the shifting sands this vax faith sits. The idea of boosters was never mentioned when the vaccine was approved with the emergency asterix beside it. It is all being made up as we go along.

                  The "dumbarse…" was just using lprent's language to highlight a single response to a complex situation.

                  As I said, regular testing (saliva), may become one of many tools in the arsenal in the future. However the state has hung it's hat on this vaccine and wants to keep the unvaxxed out. Damn the consequences.

                  Hang on to your hats folks, you are right, this virus is difficult to control.

                  • Patricia Bremner

                    Boosters are used with many conditions. Tetanus influenza and shingles are routinely boosted. Gradually we will develop other tools to deal with this tricky virus.

                    Isolation was the method of controlling tuberculosis for years, then pill based treatments removed that problem of being infectious. They now have pills to lessen and shorten an attack of shingles.

                    Our real problem here is Governments world wide following practices which do not acknowledge differences as they move into "Health Emergency", though that will come as case histories build a verifiable pattern.

            • Julian Richards 2.1.3.1.1.2

              And if/when you do get the virus from either vaccinatied or unvaccinated… Then what? You'll just blame another. This is becoming so rediculous these arguments to segregate and dismiss anyone who won't conform to the dullness of imaginary eternal life.

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.3.1.2

            The Ministry of Health seems a little confused …

            What if I’m already vaccinated?

            You can still get COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated but the symptoms are likely to be very mild, or you may not have any symptoms at all. This means that if you are vaccinated and get COVID-19, you may not realise and spread it to others.

            This posted today, the day that those of us who have made the carefully considered decision to not take the Pfizer product lose our paid employment. We would have welcomed the option of regular saliva testing.

            You know, just to be on a fair and level playing field.

            Because of, you know, science.

            • solkta 2.1.3.1.2.1

              You are the one who is confused. They have been saying that for months. All over the MSM.

            • gsays 2.1.3.1.2.2

              Cheers, Rosemary.

              I am one who lost their job 2 and a bit weeks ago.

              I was hanging on for a non m-rna vaccine. Losing a job I enjoyed and 'made a difference' I could cope with and adapt.

              It was when it was made clear to me that I may lose my marraige, as a consequence, that I relented.

              That's why lprent's comment above stuck put for me. Granted, it's easy to say what he has after vaccine mandates, having a prized skill-set and the power that goes with it.

              However, in the 'dynamic' environment we find ourselves in (how many letters in the greek alphabet are left?), this othering paranoia about the unvaxxed, will not serve society well.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                My last day today. Been playing email tag with the agency the MOH contracts to administer the IF so my partner can pay me as his carer. What a shit show to be honest. To get my final pay, and holiday pay, I have to tick the "resign" box. Which I won't because I haven't… the government has decreed I'm unfit to do tomorrow what I have done to day…and thousands of days in the past.

                My partner quite adamant the Pfizer is not worth the risk to the tenuous equilibrium he has gained with respect to his neurological issues. As his carer I simply won't risk being even temporarily out of commission due to the side effects so many I know have suffered. 4 days in bed…heart monitoring due to tachycardia…numb arm…bugger that. It's not as if there are carers lining up to take over…and the rest home simply ain't an option.

                Did you happen to see this gsays? Those delightful Newshub hosts were fair rubbing their hands with glee in anticipation of their Great Unwashed audience joining in the pile on against the filthy unvaxxed.

                It must have hurt soo baad when the poll results went completely in the opposite direction.

                Should Kiwis who willfully refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 be denied free medical treatment?

                Yes 13%

                No 86%

                Unsure 1%

                Our Prime Minister needs to put more effort into fomenting hate. That's a pathetic result.wink

                • gsays

                  I didn't see that survey.

                  It is heartening.

                  If you spent too much time here on TS, with Twitter feeds from overseas faithfully reposted, driving division, othering and ostracizing, you might think humanity had taken a turn for the worse.

                  As I have often pointed out, medical staff are often are put in undesirable positions eg treating victims of crashes as well as the 'cause' of the collision. Not to mention rationing of scarce resources.

                  At least the more extreme reactions- calls for tents in the car park have died down.

                  I wish you and Peter the best of luck navigating the waters of employment, uncertainty and MOH.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    If you spent too much time here on TS, with Twitter feeds from overseas faithfully reposted, driving division, othering and ostracizing, you might think humanity had taken a turn for the worse.

                    Oh, yes indeedy.

                    All the best right back at you …we will survive this like we have survived all manner of crap in the past. (Now, time to plunge down the rabbit hole and find a protest action that does not feature that odious fellow Tamaki and his Enough is Enough gangtsa boys.) frown

            • georgecom 2.1.3.1.2.3

              people who do not want to get the pfizer jab can explore taking a period if leave without pay (or with pay if they have some available) with their employer until such time as another vaccine might be available, whenever that might be. AZ/Vaxzevria will be available in NZ for some people end of November. Some are hoping nevervax gets her in the next few months. Whether it's practical for an employer to grant a longish period of LWOP is another matter, made more difficult of course if it is a somewhat open ended time frame, but nothing to stop people exploring that with their employer

    • GreenBus 2.2

      My employer has already done the staff vax check, about 6 weeks ago. About 50 staff all up. $100 cash to those vaccinated, which has been paid out 2 weeks ago. Makes one suspicious heh, but good on him.

      • Molly 2.2.1

        My partner's employer did similar.

        All their customers have required all their suppliers that mix with employees on their sites to be double vaccinated, thereby requiring their workload to be divided amongst those that are vaccinated.

        For employers, it's a hard balance. If they are in a business where there is considerable staff contact with other sites, then those sites have some say.

        My hope is that the requirement for such compulsion to vaccination lessens, if/when suitable treatments for Covid are adopted and effective.

    • Same here ; had to produce an MOH verification of vaccination by 15 November or be prepared to move on. Has vaccine info and date of birth but not NHI number.

    • weka 2.4

      My employer – one of the largest in the country – is collecting proof of vaccination record identified by person, and they will be supplying some form of it to the government.

      This is how they really get your detail.

      They are expecting that this will apply to all employers.

      Ad, why are employers giving personally identifying information to the government? Which government department?

      • Ad 2.4.1

        We engage pretty heavily with most of the state's major service providers. I haven't tried to explore the privacy issues with my employer – it will just get me into trouble.

        • weka 2.4.1.1

          is the government requiring the information?

          • Ad 2.4.1.1.1

            Yes: it mostly stems from Departmental requirements for anyone remotely customer-facing, or indeed requiring any client interface. And they all want it done really fast.

            Really they should just dissolve the Privacy Commissioner at this point.

            • weka 2.4.1.1.1.1

              are the unions doing anything?

            • lprent 2.4.1.1.1.2

              Competing imperatives. There is a reason why the health acts related to pandemics, epidemics, and outbreaks are very similar to other emergency legislation like those for war and civil disasters. They are group problems covering large numbers of people. We and every other democratic country has specialised legislation for dealing with potential unfolding disaster to be handled by dealing with groups. This is done to ensure the least amount of death of individuals.

              The reasons for having this kind of legislation in place aren’t hard to see in history. Where they haven’t had them or those powers weren’t used effectively, that is usually where you can see mass deaths. Currently you can look at the the higher death tolls from Covid from different locations world wide and identify it straight back to the failures of government that caused it – usually chaotic politics like Peru, or idiots in charge who are unable to deal with reality like in the US or Brazil.

              • Ad

                If we continue to be beset by national-scale crises every second year, then BORA should be amended to include collective rights not just primarily individual ones. The rights framework we have doesn't suit this crisis at all.

                It should strike any rational law-abiding citizen how many irrationals are wilfully sacrificing their careers for their own version of their rights.

                So far the mandate's force is not strong on public sector capacity. This will be assisted by the very tight labour market. But the depth of the bite will grow through first quarter 2022.

  3. Anne 3

    It was still unclear what impact allowing shops to open at level 3.2 would have on case numbers – and whether that relaxation would cause people to break the rules more, Hendy said.

    They broke the rules the day retail opened. That was evident in TV footage of the event. No distancing and half of them mask-less. At least that appeared to be the mall experience. I fear there will be a big upsurge in numbers in Auckland from sometime this week.

    Not much sympathy for them.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Although the Gnat's interest in saliva testing is probably malicious or misguided, saliva testing has some advantages in terms of rapidity of results that can be very helpful in dealing with the faster infecting later Covid waves.

    Korea has been doing saliva testing for some time, and has multiple tests available. Seegene's saliva test for COVID-19 is just as effective as NPS test (newswire.ca) Some of them look fairly good, and Germany seems likely to pick some of them up.

  5. Cricklewood 5

    Realistically we are at the start of our first wave given this is the first time we are going to have widespread infection.

    The second wave and real test will come in may/june as we move into winter.

  6. tc 6

    We're doing well despite those who don't give a toss about the basics like distancing, hand wash, masks and remain in your bubble.

    Border breaches and protesters add to the mix so all in all it's great to be here rather than …pick a country it seems.

    • Tricledrown 6.1

      So far but when the borders open the shops open the numbers will go up.

      Then when c19 arrives in districts with low vax rates it's going to be tough.

      Waning vaccine efficacy also as above figures show 20%+ of hospitalizations are partially or un vaccinated.

      We are going to be in a rough ride until 5 to 12 yrs olds are vaccinated and booster shots are widely available. We as individuals will have to be more careful wearing masks washing hands keeping hands away from the face and minimising close contacts.Areas of low vaccination rates could be locked down to prevent overloading the health system with good support for those areas

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.1

        Hopefully 20% unvaccinated or waning is way off, because that implies its worse than useless. Presently about 5%-10% fully vaccinated are then hospitalised.

  7. Poission 7

    Breakthrough infection for fully vaccinated in the last three weeks has increased from 4.75-9.6%,it should move to around 12% (as case numbers increase).

    Vaccination certificates are not a silver bullet, social constraints will still be needed for large gatherings,and hospitality.

    The underlying infection rate is almost surely higher,due to the large spread in the criminal fraternity and who seem to have an inversion to testing.

    It is inevitable that the virus will both mutate and vaccine immunity will wane.The efficacy of overseas certificates is an open problem (NSW outbreak with aircrew) A pre covid past is not sustainable.

    • Subliminal 7.1

      Yes. Why we think we can open up with covd in the community and expect some magical result that is different to what has been demonstrated over and over again in all other countries is a mystery.

      Or not. Optimism is great but what is it again that they say about repeating actions expecting a different result? We had the result we wanted. Repeating those actions would be better grounds for optimism.

      Queensland and Western Aus seem able to manage a potentially very porous border. If they can do it then we have no excuses for the leaking of ours and especially between the two islands. The SI could be used as a covd free sanctuary with slow linking of northern provinces as they reach a covd free status. Giving up on what we have achieved by allowing a national mixing and covd throughout is really not the NZ way. This should be easier than predator free NZ you would think

    • lprent 7.2

      It is inevitable that the virus will both mutate and vaccine immunity will wane.The efficacy of overseas certificates is an open problem (NSW outbreak with aircrew) A pre covid past is not sustainable.

      Sure. Full blown herd immunity with this disease simply isn't going to happen. That was obvious since mid-2020. What we are doing now is figuring out what social changes are going to have to happen to reduce risk of spread.

      Part of that will be individuals making their own decision about the levels of risk that they are willing to accommodate. I would expect that the hospo, airline, tourist, movie theatre and other entertainment venues are all going to take a major and probably permanent hit. Retail probably as well.

      But the most interesting to me (because I'm noticeably anti-social anyway) are going to be the workplaces – as I was discussing further up the comments. I selected my recent change of employer to make sure that remote was the base mode of work, and that I won't be travelling internationally to sites as I did in my last job.

      • Poission 7.2.1

        Sure. Full blown herd immunity with this disease simply isn't going to happen. That was obvious since mid-2020. What we are doing now is figuring out what social changes are going to have to happen to reduce risk of spread.

        There are multiple areas of revision that need to be undertaken,both temporary and permanent,for example on how we both use buildings and centres with high human traffic and high density housing.

        After the influenza pandemic there was a large urban design change in opening up buildings to both increased ventilation and light ( and TB pre antibiotic) in Ireland for example half the covid deaths came from 400 buildings,do we need to examine HVAC like we do Legionnaires? are hospitality locations fit for purpose?

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.2

        Full blown herd immunity with this disease simply isn't going to happen. That was obvious since mid-2020

        When was is proved that herd immunity wasn't going to happen? I'd really like to read the research.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.2.2.1

          My understanding is it became clear with the emergence of delta (so a bit later than mid-2020). Before delta people wondered if herd immunity might be possible for covid19.

          With delta, infectiousness is inherently very high and further (and these two facts will shock you!), spread can still occur via vaccinated people and the effectiveness of vaccines against spread reduces over time. From the very early days of covid19 (first half of 2020, pre-delta), it was known that people who get infected by covid19, can get infected again. So immunity acquired by that path is also not perfect.

          Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible

        • Brigid 7.2.2.3

          This explains what herd immunity actually is and why it's unlikely to happen with covid-19.

          https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-67362031924-3/fulltext

          For any disease, for herd immunity to occur, in any population, all those susceptible must either die or survive and develop lifelong immunity to the disease. But, this immunity will only remain while no foreign members are allowed to migrate into the community.

          Without the use of man-made vaccines, I don't believe this has ever occurred.

        • Tricledrown 7.2.2.4

          This is a global emergency and we are lucky to have a vaccine that works this well in such a short time.New types of vaccine are going to give longer protection with lower risk of spreading. They are being trialed now one being in its final stage 3 in Switzerland. Its a high tech patch which delivers a vaccine that will last 6 times longer than existing vaccines.

          The RNA type vaccines have been around for 20 years and are much quicker to develop .

          People are expecting vaccines to all be the same. When no 2 vaccines have the same efficacy like the whooping cough vaccine has only a short efficacy period unlike the MMR multiple vaccine which lasts a lifetime.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Xmas seems more of an emotional life boat or target than usual this year for some rather obvious reasons. Trades people have long known the customer mantra–“got to be done by Christmas”…

    And a very COVID Christmas it is set to be. Existential emptiness for many will likely set in again on Dec. 26 as per any other year. Jingle tills for some, a Pak‘n’Save mini ham or City Mission lunch for others. Not to mention the many New Zealand citizens and residents who do not celebrate bloody Christmas anyway.

    I hope Micky’s guarded optimism pans out.

  9. Herodotus 9

    "The current problem is that Aucklanders have not been perfect in their respect of the border." No the current problem was a BREACH/FAILURE of MIQ !!!!!

    Great to read that it is this"Aucklander" that is the cause, and your phrasing is extremely poor. I am sure the 1.5m team will love to read that it is because of us. I thought and we have been told that this spread was due to a small disenfranchised group that was not following the rules, and then from the authorities not policing the rules or the boarders.

    Get real and stop making "Aucklanders" this group to heap blame on. Because this Aucklander has had enough of it.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-gang-community-part-of-outbreak-ministry-of-health-confirms/E6H7AAIJCD3Y5U3UPX3CRWHAEU/

  10. georgecom 10

    strike me down with a feather – 4pm Covid Press Conference

    It's now 4.18, Barry Soper has had 3 questions and none of them about use of toilets

    Has Bazza FINALLY gotten that out of his system

    • tc 10.1

      Baz was his usual ZB self today.

      Taking others turns, offering nothing and providing a good example of someone waay past their use by date.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        Don't forget the shouting over the top of his colleagues. I respect Jacinda for her infinite patience. If it had been me I would have kicked him out of the press conference months ago. angry

        • georgecom 10.1.1.1

          He did manage to get in the one question the entire country was waiting for the answer to, the one on which many will be basing the next few weeks

          ……….'through use of vaccine passports and creating 2 groups of people'………

          wait for it

          ………'is the prime minister pleased with that?'

          an earth shattering question

          FM, is the pm pleased with that. That's the question

          • Pete 10.1.1.1.1

            The Soper Years of Experience Best Question Award:

            "By some being vaccinated and some not, two groups of people have been created. Is the PM happy about that?"

            "By taking questions from us, two groups of journalists have been created, the ordinary common sense ones and the fuckwits, Is the PM happy about that?"

            • georgecom 10.1.1.1.1.1

              ahhhhhuuhhhh

              Waikato going down a covid level, booster shots detail being announced, looming deadline for vaccine mandates

              and Soper asks whether the PM is happy about 2 groups of people

              pretty much a question that didn't need to be asked, one that didn't ever need to see the light of day, a dumb question which serves no purpose whatsoever. and to make it worse he talked over other journalists who were waiting their turn to ask that silly question. not a case of pushing to ask an important question the PM had been avoiding, a question of deep importance. No, talked over other people to ask whether the PM was happy.

              • Tricledrown

                One group is 90% plus vaccination the other10% – who aren't so who is silly Soper aiming his loaded question .Brian Tamaki .

                For the brave 90% Soper is shooting himself in the foot.

                Soper is trying to be the tucker Carlson of NZ.Thats fine with me as Trumpism is no where as popular here in NZ.

                In the US Trump supporting states have the lowest vaccination rates highest death tolls. Why because of divisive trolls amplifying doubts and misinformation.Soper's soap box is washed up in NZ.

            • Anne 10.1.1.1.1.2

              "By some being vaccinated and some not, two groups of people have been created. Is the PM happy about that?"

              That should be writ large on bill boards across the country! It is totally meaningless and beyond stupid.

  11. theotherpat 11

    IMHO….bollocks…..plateau??….love to be proved wrong….i think we would be the only place in the world that when everyone is let loose so to speak that it plateaus …..the news pics of the people at the mall settled that question for me.

    • Cricklewood 11.1

      We'll likely be congratulating ourselves all summer… and get bitten hard in winter as seems to be happening in the rest of the world.

  12. Ad 12

    It is worth just adding Australia as a comparator to New Zealand. Same in vaccination rates almost, but they are way higher in deaths per thousands and infections per thousand.

    New Zealand: Coronavirus Pandemic Country Profile – Our World in Data

    • Poission 12.1

      breakthrough cases just passed 10%,Auckland needs to triple its rate of testing.

    • DS 12.2

      Largely because Australia has general community transmission, and Auckland doesn't. Auckland's outbreak is really a wave through an isolated (and unvaccinated) subset of the community, most of whom tend to be younger – hence fewer deaths.

  13. NZsage 13

    "For those who still oppose vaccinations this sobering statistic from Health speaks volumes. Of 90 hospitalisations in Auckland the number of unvaccinated people were 50, partially vaccinated for less than 14 days were 9, partially vaccinated for more than 14 days were 10, fully vaccinated for less than 14 days were 2 and fully vaccinated were 9. The status of 5 were unknown. Given that Auckland is approaching 90% fully vaccinated status this is a stark reminder of the utility of vaccinations."

    50+9+10+2+9+5= 85

    5 missing from the 90 total… or am I missing something?

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