The politics of the Covid vaccination roll out

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, April 12th, 2021 - 91 comments
Categories: chris bishop, covid-19, health, national, same old national - Tags:

Poor National.

Being in 0pposition is a bugger.  You get to run the doctrinal stuff.  If you are a right wing party you get to say that taxes are too high, the Government is engaged in mass cancel culture and complain about light bulbs.  Sometimes this works.

When you get faced with a really big issue, like how to handle a global pandemic that has brought many advanced nations to their knees, your options are smaller.  You can say they are being too cautious, or they are not being cautious enough.  The choices are pretty linear.

Saying that their level of caution is appropriate is not a vote winner.  It is a clear acknowledgment that people should stick with the status quo.

National and its allies like Mike Hosking and this guy have decided to go down the Government is being too restrictive line.  This is not surprising for a right wing party.  Laissez faire freedom demands that the rules are less severe than that they currently are.

And National and Act have been complaining, begging and pleading that the borders are opened.

Recently there has been a lot of attention paid to the roll out of the vaccine.  Surely we could be doing this more quickly.

There are two basic issues.

  1.  We are at the end of the world with much larger nations having vaccine production plants situated locally being very protective of who they distribute to.
  2. We have done that well that urgent mass vaccination is not necessary.

The current response from National and Co can be summarised as “you may have successfully protected Aotearoa New Zealand from mass infections and deaths but where is my vaccine”?

The problem is that the vaccine may not be the panacea people are hoping for.

The infection rates in the US and the UK are going down.  But Hungary, where nearly one in three have received the vaccine is seeing a spike.

And the virus is mutating.

From Aljezeera:

Leading health experts from around the world warned the slow roll-out of vaccines and unequal distribution could mean the shots become ineffective as new coronavirus mutations appear within the next year.

Seventy-seven scientists – from leading academic institutions from around the globe – participated in the survey with about 30 percent suggesting second-generation vaccines will be needed as soon as in nine months, unless vaccines become more widely produced and distributed around the world.

Nearly 90 percent of the researchers said more vaccine-resistant mutations are likely because of extremely “low vaccine coverage” in many countries, mostly developing ones.

At the current rate, it is likely that only 10 percent of people in the majority of poor countries will be vaccinated in the next year, according to The People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 organisations.

The alliance called for the lifting of pharmaceutical monopolies and the sharing of technology to urgently boost vaccine supplies.

“The more the virus circulates, the more likely it is that mutations and variants will emerge, which could make our current vaccines ineffective. At the same time, poor countries are being left behind without vaccines and basic medical supplies like oxygen,” said Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh.

The Government’s refusal to provide precise data is understandable.  This is a huge job and international supply chains are very unpredictable and unstable.  But some of the media comment is crazy.  For instance Mike Hosking has clearly jumped the shark yet again with this claim that the Ministry of Health has yet again mucked up the Covid response.  The phrases “utter tosh” and “you have to be freaking kidding” and “what are you smoking” as well as other less printable variants came to mind as I read this clusterfcuk of attempted analysis.

Complaining that the Government is refusing to release precise data so that the Government could then be criticised for not meeting projected vaccination rates is silly.

And complaining that our vaccination rates are too low also misses the point.  Problems with clotting linked to the Astra Zenica vaccine suggest that waiting to see how the roll out works overseas is not a bad thing.

The world will not return to normal until world wide herd immunity is reached.  Remaining Covid free is even more inportant than vaccinating the population.

National and its cheerleaders should take a deep breath.

91 comments on “The politics of the Covid vaccination roll out ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Even Australia has 'thrown out' its previous plan as the supply chain is too unpredictable

    'Prime Minister Scott Morrison has abandoned setting targets for Australia’s vaccine rollout and conceded for the first time that not all Australians will get their first dose of a coronavirus jab by the end of the year, even though the government has doubled its order of Pfizer’s vaccine.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Victor Meldrew knew how to handle the likes of Chris Bishop

  3. Ad 3

    No one need disagree with Mike Hosking simply because he's Mike Hosking. Using DHB's to administer the doses goes straight to the heart of the DHB failure to roll out a single national benchmark on pretty much anything, rather than using a nationwide agency like ACC for delivery.

    The COVID vaccine rollout is resembling any other public health rollout that this government was supposed to have delivered. The most useful things this government has done in health involve straight subsidy increases, which are provided through doctor and pharmacy charges.

    The UK led by PM Boris Johnson is now well on its way to completion. England has vaccinated 94% of those 50 years and over, and Scotland 94% have had al least one dose. This is a Conservative government.

    In the United States they've delivered 183 million doses, and now average 3.29 million doses per day. This is a disaggregated government with very limited Federal public health capacity.

    New Zealand has not been able to roll out the vaccine with any certainty – and the PM herself is showing frustration at failures of vaccination for frontline workers.

    New Zealand has also failed to do the alternative to a vaccine rollout, which is to use the brief competitive advantage it gained from a low outbreak to steal a march on our competitors and hence gain an economic kick-start.

    The trouble with putting your entire government's reputation on the line for doing one big thing well, is that when even that goes badly everything else undone looks even worse.

    Ardern is just supremely lucky that National are too incoherent for the NZ public at the moment.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      "New Zealand has also failed to do the alternative to a vaccine rollout, which is to use the brief competitive advantage it gained from a low outbreak to steal a march on our competitors and hence gain an economic kick-start."

      That part has been a success we have 'bounced back' and more quickly than comparative countries like Australia , US, Europe

      As for the US , they have their own factories producing all the vaccines they need …We do not.

      The US government just coordinates the supply of vaccines , the states and their primary local authorities the Counties handle the vaccination.

      The NY times story about varies vaccination measures shows that the supply for most states is well ahead of actual vaccinations.

      Connecticut with 3.5 mill people has had almost 3 mill does delivered

      Would we even have 100,000 does

    • woodart 3.2

      ACC is just a collection of office workers , mostly centered in three cities.. to have ACC in charge of a nationwide medical event would be a disaster. the big problem is the actual DHB setup. it has failed in many ways over the yrs, but has been a huge success in giving an entire level of bureaucrats a well paid job.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1

        Yes, its a silly idea to use office workers with mostly no clinical experience but that what happens when you get ideas from Hosking.

        Even Hosking is confused over something he should know about- Ardern on his show and his ever changing comments on this one matter as summarised by James Elliot

        "To summarise, Mike did, didn’t, does, doesn’t, will and won’t want to have the PM on his radio show"

      • In Vino 3.2.2

        I suspect that ACC would easily find a way of completing their mission.

        They would simply rule most of us ineligible for inoculation by making up some story about a pre-existing condition. They have become expert at this..

        • greywarshark

          In Vino smiley

          and Woodart everything we know about ACC tells us that you are right in your contention.

    • mickysavage 3.3

      Hosking’s rhetoric was hopelessly overblown.

      “To put it into a simple sentence, if it’s the Ministry of Health in charge of it, it’ll be cocked up. From the very beginning of Covid, they have been found wanting.”

      This is patently not correct.

      Are DHB’s efficient?

      No. They are badly in need of reform.

      Is the vaccination programme rolling out adequately? We are at the end of the world and some of the major western countries have been hoarding as much vaccine as they can.

      Does it matter? Individually no unless we want to open up our boarders to the world. It is much more important for basket case nations to have high levels of vaccination than it is for New Zealand to.

      Failing to obtain an economic kick start? We seem to be doing pretty well. Despite what Queenstown thinks it appears most of the country can handle no international tourism. Besides if we want to create a more sustainable world we are going to have to minimise international travel.

      The Government has not been relying on the initial successful eradication. I am impressed with the track and tracing, the identification of strains, and the ability to whack a mole individual infections as they appear.

      • greywarshark 3.3.1

        Failing to obtain an economic kick start? We seem to be doing pretty well. Despite what Queenstown thinks it appears most of the country can handle no international tourism. Besides if we want to create a more sustainable world we are going to have to minimise international travel.

        These points from mickysavage need to be borne in mind so that we keep our feet on the ground more and more; not abandoning our tourism and much needed hospitality employment but looking for new ways of doing business beyond relying on dairy which is not healthy for us. Woody Allen showed the dire results of unrestrained milk production.


      • Sacha 3.3.2

        Is the vaccination programme rolling out adequately?

        Measured by the number of Covid cases and deaths here, it sure is. Comparing something like the number of injections with countries experiencing health catastrophes is just stupid.

      • Sabine 3.3.3

        I don't know Mickey. There are more and more people that know someone on a waiting list for important, live saving and often times life changing surgeries and treatments and maybe they just all got a bit cynical over the last decade or three.

        And to not even have a goal anymore is pretty sad innit? One would assume that the government has all the number crunchers it wants at its disposal and thus should be able to provide a forecast. It is what is expected of any business in NZ, to forecast sales and delivery numbers for the future, even in times of a pandemic and constant change.

        And honestly bugger educating those that don't want the vaccination for various reasons. Jus for once the government could start with all those that want the jab/jabs rather then spend millions on those that don't want to for what ever reason. You know, just to get started and maybe seeing how much easier live could be with a vaccine people might just get it.

        Because frankly we been lucky for so many times that really the question should be asked : How lucky do you feel that we get vaccination of the ground for all that want it before we have one of the new strains out of MIQ and into our streets?

        • Louis

          Can't recall which press conference, but Dr Bloomfield would disagree with you, he said luck had nothing to do with it and the PM gave some numbers, another update will be on Wednesday.

          • Sabine

            In August when some guy got it who worked in some freezer work and died that was when luck ran out – specifically for the guy who died. And as of today i don't think any ever told us where this guy got it from. 🙂 Or have you already forgotten that as yesterdays news.

            Btw, i don't watch the Covid Soap opera, all i need to know is if i have to go into lockdown again and not, and i get that info via the phone.

            • woodart

              so, you come on here moaning about lack of information, then tell us you deliberatley remain uninformed. talk about soap opera…..

              • Sabine

                I am sorry if people dying of covid that they get either in MIQ or then catch in in the community is something that you consider moaning. Just show how some don't care much so as long as no one poo poos their daily soap.

                And with that my dear woodart, have a lovely sunny day.

                • Louis

                  Are you really sorry Sabine? Its you that has shown that you dont care.

                  • Sabine

                    it has?

                    How so?

                    Would you care to supply a link to my not caring? Seriously, if you throw out accusations such as you should be at least bring a link to support your point, or else i must come to the consclusion that you actually have nothing to say, but instead only try to shut down someone of whose opinion you don't care, and that comes across as kind of a bit bougie, rude and authoritarian. 🙂

                    • Louis

                      Rubbish and your comments show it Sabine.

                      " instead only try to shut down someone of whose opinion you don't care, and that comes across as kind of a bit bougie, rude and authoritarian"

                      You have described yourself.

              • Louis

                Well said woodart.

            • Louis

              No need to concern troll Sabine and it was September, not August. 26 kiwis have lost their lives to Covid19, each and everyone of them is a great loss to their loved ones.

              If you don't watch the pressers then you are not arming yourself with information and are remaining wilfully ignorant. Your choice. I certainly dont consider health updates during a global pandemic a soap opera. Shame you are trying to minimize it like that.

              • Sabine

                I don't watch the pressers as I have to work during the times. I know its hard to understand for some, but there are still people in this country that work, and you will have a hard time finding workers to clock out and watch an hour of blablabla to fish for information, that could easily be read in five minutes after 6 pm.

                • Louis

                  You are not the only one that works Sabine and that is a lame excuse. You dont have to watch the pressers live, you can always watch them later when it suits, but you already knew that.

        • Tricledrown

          The National Party have been crying wolf from woodhouse's imaginary homeless person to Bishop's pathetic whinging even Shane Reti a Doctor has chimed in recently after earlier outbursts of reason.Reti being promoted as a result now he been sucked into the cry wolf once a week stupid strategy.

          Also the phizer vaccine has shown to be safer but in shorter supply.

          National would have caved in to business first opening borders and initially keeping borders open for longer.

          National's and ACT's economic criticism reflects what responses they would have done.

          No QE so $30 billion less going into the economy ,a much smaller loan leve probably $15 billion instead of $30 billion $45 billion less than Labourl .tax cuts for the well off.

          A combined cluster f#&+K that would have our health system in complete meltdown and our economy on its knees.

          Seymour was berating the govt's economic response saying unemployment would be north of 10% our debt levels would be over 60% of GDP amongst other negative effects.

          None of National's or ACT's dire predictions have eventuated

          Labour has done a very good job much better than National ACT could have done with their pro business agenda which ironically would have damaged businesses and the economy .

          No govt can be perfect but Labour deserve high praise and high voter support.

          Like Judith Collins said about Simon Bridges why keeping digging yourself into a hole why would you?

          National and ACT have kept digging .

          • Louis

            +1 Tricledrown, well said.

          • Patricia Bremner

            Yes Trickledown, 100%, and the scare campaigns continue.

            Someone may know who it was bleating about "the flu jabs being a mess' .

            We are 79 and having ours on Friday. Pretty similar to last year. What mess???

  4. joe90 4

    First up best dressed.

    (WhiteHouse C19 data director)

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    I don't know why there is this sense of complacency and 'she'll be 'right attitude' toward vaccinating the public.

    We were successful because we went hard and early 12 months ago. We should be employing that same sense of purpose again with the vaccine.

    We live in this constant state of one super spreader event away from a National lockdown and the inevitible death of our vulnerable people. That risk will remain until the rollout is complete. I can't think of anything that is more urgent than that.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      What vaccine plants do we have ?

    • woodart 5.2

      if you are vacinating against a mutating virus, maybe next yr, everybody in these (advanced countries??) will need to be vacinated again .

      • Enough is Enough 5.2.1

        Yep – just like the flu

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          "Yep – just like the flu"

          In this case its not like the flu, which mutates far more rapidly than Covid does.

          "But sequencing data suggest that coronaviruses change more slowly than most other RNA viruses, probably because of a ‘proofreading’ enzyme that corrects potentially fatal copying mistakes. A typical SARS-CoV-2 virus accumulates only two single-letter mutations per month in its genome — a rate of change about half that of influenza and one-quarter that of HIV…..

          Other genome data have emphasized this stability — more than 90,000 isolates have been sequenced and made public (see Two SARS-CoV-2 viruses collected from anywhere in the world differ by an average of just 10 RNA letters out of 29,903"

          Of course not all mutations are equal, some currently are making covid 'more transmissable' but a vaccine is to prevent disease which it apparently is still doing well.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    With no immediate threat from SARS-CoV-2 there is no urgency to vaccinate in New Zealand beyond border, MIQ, and health workers.

    New Zealand's gold standard Covid response has been rewarded with the highest health and economic outcomes on the planet.

    The way forward for New Zealand is dependent on the rest of the world eliminating Covid-19 through their vaccination programs and behavioural changes, not on New Zealand vaccination program.

  7. Pat 7

    Covid is cruelly exposing our lack of capacity/capability in so many areas of our economy….and there appears no ideas on how to address this from any quarter.

  8. Foreign Waka 8

    I think that the vaccine is not in NZ and this is the reason for the silence of providing a plan. Just in the same vein, there isn' any Flu vaccine either.

    We have most likely paid the money but are on the bottom of the list for delivery. Meanwhile we open the borders! For goodness sake….

    • Jimmy 8.1

      Unfortunately, every time they set a target they seem to fail to achieve it (often by a long way), so they are either very bad at forecasting, or simply want to over promise.

      • Louis 8.1.1

        The govt do have a plan and are following it and they are not the ones setting a target, the experts will be doing that.

    • Sacha 8.2

      Vaccine not in NZ you say? From today's media conference:

      More than 110,000 vaccine doses have been administered around the country, Bloomfield says.

      • Jimmy 8.2.1

        Maybe Foreign Waka doesn't believe what is being said? Remember they do not always get things correct eg. we believed the PM over the KFC worker and it turned out the KFC worker was correct.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Auckland Regional Public Health is the bogeyman/woman in the room over a lot of these things.

          It seems all the failures over what the politicians were told 'were happening' and the 'not happening' reality on the ground runs through this entity which is supposed to the single point public health agency for 3 DHBs in Auckland.

          At first it was compulsory testing that seemed to be inadequate and now its the must vaccination process

        • Sacha

          Long way from none to 100000 doses.

        • Louis

          Jimmy, Dr Bloomfield didn't think so, he agreed with the PM.

      • Louis 8.2.2

        @Sacha +1

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.3

      "there isn' any Flu vaccine either"

      So my doctor wanting me to come in this week for flu vaccine was my imagination?

      • Sacha 8.3.1

        Not a real doctor. They are all impersonators, you know.

      • Foreign waka 8.3.2

        My doctor explained just 2 days ago there isn't any yet and at my workplace when enquiries are made on availability, there is no guarantied date. Chemists only guessing but have no actual info either. You tell me what that means. Maybe some have a small shipment received, it sure hasn't made the way through to schools, people wit asthma and other vulnerable folks.

        • Anne

          My medical clinic emailed patients to inform… the Flu vaccine will become available mid -April. I understand there was a bit of a hold-up this year due to Covid related shipment problems.

          Its time people got real. The government of the day can't wish these things out of thin air in the middle of a pandemic.

          • Foreign Waka

            Well, just wait until you are being told its delayed as it sure will. As for wishing… there is only some logistical skill involved. The flu vaccination program is nothing new and we had one year to get this organised.

            • Anne

              It WAS organised well in advance but with just about every country's borders closed for months on end, it isn't surprising there are delays to arrival schedules. No country has been unaffected by the transport hold-ups around the globe.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                " flu vaccination program is nothing new "

                Covid has changed everything since last year, including production AND distribution of new flu vaccine.

                As I said before it is available but not yet for the 'worried well'

                • Foreign waka

                  Assuming, not much are we?

                  I am not one of the worried well. I have a year from hell behind me and if the next 12 months pan out the same way its really really serious for me. On top of that I got asthma.
                  Still, no flu vaccination available for me because I am too young?

  9. greywarshark 9


    We cannot provide enough medical services and medication and care now with growing numbers of elderly living on but needing x numbers of pills and hospital care to keep from dying just now. Now cancer has become ubiquitous and younger people are dying from it, but can lengthen their lives with the help of expensive medication that various pharma firms have developed. Such people are looking for our health system to freely fund the treatment to lengthen their lives at middle-age. We can't afford to provide health care freely for the cancer sufferers, the elderly needing top to toe care so they can live longer in their free residential care.

    What is to be done? Is there a possibility that the responsible and logical people can co-opt enough robust thinkers to discuss, debate, view actual statistics and calculate the rate of growth of numbers and costs, and eventually find a way to explain to everybody the situation. Then those affected will asked to devise a policy that would be both kind and practical and do the right and fair thing by everybody, and the nation comment on that. It would take about three years and not be subject to interference by election cycles. We need to get started on consultations soon.

    (The thing to remember is that the drugs being called for only extend life for a while, they are NOT for curing the disease. The patient cannot regain health, and would need to make an end-of-life plan perhaps visiting family or places to farewell them while they were still mobile. The few extra years might be regarded by most people as the fair thing to fund.)

    • Sacha 9.1

      The few extra years might be regarded by most people as the fair thing to fund

      Compared with other health treatments and services that benefit far more people and stop them dying, very expensive drugs to keep individuals alive a bit longer is a bad choice. Not good news for each person dying of cancer, but these are the sorts of decisions the health system makes every day.

      • Foreign Waka 9.1.1

        Sasha at 8.2 – Yes but we need enough for 11 Million vaccinations. 110000 is a drop in the bucket and perhaps just enough for front line staff. Seems that the idea is to contain at the boarder and cross the fingers. There were 2 cases in the community. How long will this "we are covid free" last under such circumstance if we have the doors open for bubbles and all. Just a matter of time until we join countries like the US and all the sacrifice was for nothing.

        • Sacha

          The govt has always been abundantly clear that there would be multiple shipments. Vaccination will not remove the need for other measures.

          • Louis

            Exactly right.

            • Foreign waka

              Good and fine. Then leave the border closed until at least 80% are vaccinated. Simple really. But we haven't even checked the contractors employees at the border. 500 odd of them are not vaccinated. Its like a roulette.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.2

      "Now cancer has become ubiquitous and younger people are dying from it,"

      Because more people living longer is why there is 'more cancer'

      Cancer trends for younger people vary a lot by cancer type, economic disadvantage often being a factor–conc-ref.pdf

    • Foreign Waka 9.3

      Greywarshark, don't fret, many are being neglected as we speak. The health system is hopelessly underfunded and private insurance is for the majority too expensive. There is not even enough care for new mothers, just imagine what old people will get. The legislation legalising assistant dying helps, doesn't it.

      • greywarshark 9.3.1

        What's wrong with assisted dying for those who want it? There should be an adequate legal process available but people don't care enough about others needs and pain to enable it. Pretend caring, but they don't really want to think about others, it's often about who will get money.

        I think people should have as full lives as they can, and then choose a ritual, a plan for the end of life. I would like to do this but may have to go and drown myself to ensure that my family don't get into trouble. I think that people should read about those who went through the hard time in World War 2 or later. Not very long ago and we have had so many good years if we have been fortunate enough to not fall into addicted or unhealthy ways.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    You can say they are being too cautious, or they are not being cautious enough. The choices are pretty linear.

    This is the conventional wisdom, sure. But there's no victory to be had over the government on Covid, short of a major error. The Opposition would do better to endorse the current Covid response, than seem unelectable by trash-talking what seems to be one of the most effective programs in the world. Create public confidence that they won't make a cock of it for ideological reasons and some people might be ready to trust them with power.

  11. barry 11

    So far the NZ government has slowed everything down to avoid running out.

    At the start of the pandemic we only tested people we thought were sure to have the virus because test kits, experience and reagents were in short supply. It worked – we never could not test those that needed it, and the capacity slowly increased.

    We didn't ask people masks as PPE was needed for medical workers. Even aged care workers didn't get any, and DHBs had to manage supply. It worked, there were supply problems, but never did our hospital staff have to operate wearing rubbish bags like in some countries.

    There are lots of other examples.

    We could vaccinate people faster, but then we might run out of vaccine and have to wait for a resupply. They are managing with what we have in the pipeline so that there is a constant stream. It might be that the vaccine arrives faster and (in hindsight) we will be sorry we didn't move faster. However I back the cautious approach.

    Also we could be giving people the AZ vaccine and have the worries about blood clots and low effectiveness. The Pfizer vaccine seems the best candidate now, and wasting resources on other, less effective vaccines is not appropriate. For countries in the throes of contagion there is no choice, they have to use whatever they can get.

    The choices being made by MoH are understandable and defensible. For the opposition to be complaining for the sake of it, is transparent politicking.

  12. peter sim 12

    Why is hosking worth talking about?

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      Indeed. I get the feeling that while Hosking once commanded a legitimate and sizeable reactionary audience, even they can see he's going off the rails.

      Wouldn't be surprised to see his numbers drop, if they haven't already, as more and more people become embarrassed by him following the Leighton Smith route.

      Hosking is heading down a hole, having already departed TV, radio will soon follow. His journey reminds me a lot of Paul Henry's too…into oblivion.

    • tc 12.2

      Like it or not the hosk is feeding punters his ageing brand of reactionary rhetoric.

      Ignoring his impact would be great but not a wise approach as he riffs on the talking points provided to sow discord.

  13. Muttonbird 13

    Professor Des Moron earning his keep:

    A leading medical expert has branded the Government and its under-fire vaccination rollout as "incompetent", declaring "a shambles" is too generous of a description for the flawed and slow-moving system.

    Could do right wing vaccine bingo here.

  14. Patricia Bremner 14

    On Gorman, just wild he was not chosen to be on the Government "go to list". Sour fault finder.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      His job on ACC board wasnt renewed not long after nationals term ended. There were other appointments for the Nats favourite son, like Health Workforce NZ, that ended at change of government too.

      I think hes a big backer of the 'private providers'

  15. Bill 15

    Passing over the tribalism the post speaks to and jumping to the last lines…

    <i>The world will not return to normal until world wide herd immunity is reached. Remaining Covid free is even more inportant than vaccinating the population. </i>

    Herd immunity may never happen. Mutations, and the logistical nightmare involved in administering billions of jabs (that may never be truly effective) every year point to a "new normal" rather than a short break from 2018s normality. The "Covid Club" is a big one, and not one I want to be a part of. That border should remain (effectively) shuttered because, as the post contends – <b>"remaining covid free is more important than vaccinating the population"</b> or (as I'm about to add) generating monetary profits.

    Long Covid as it's being called, points to damage of vital organs – organs that will be hit by Covid as it comes back on that merry-go-round of variants. So… how many instances of reinfection are necessary to occasion likely death? Three? Five? One?

    Obviously it will vary from person to person, but why are we being thrown into that lottery club just because some tourist business wants to 'spin a buck'?

    We went through lock-downs and I doubt those people who forewent saying goodbye to dying loved ones did so with the idea in mind that Covid would be allowed to come strolling through customs on the back of a tourist dollar down the line.

    I've spoken to <i>no-one</i> who is in favour of the border being opened while community cases persist in Australia. Only a minority of people I've spoken to in NZ (the calculation is different for people living in countries with infection) are happy at the prospect of being jabbed with medicines that have not undergone long term safety trials.

  16. Tricledrown 16

    Sweden now has the highest increase in covid infections in Europe.Hoskings was pushing their style of response but has never backtracked or taken responsibility for his actions.

  17. Peter 17

    Why should we listen to the Hosking wisdom about vaccinations? What would that prick know?

  18. Karl Sinclair 18

    Nice post Mickey Savage "The politics of the Covid vaccination roll out"

    Labour need to pivot on the best evidence available (not a simple task). If possible National, Act, Hoskins etc leave the politics at home and chip in (leave the point scoring at home). Part of this process maybe to concentrate on scenarios, associated risk profiles (probability and consequence over a time period) and solutions associated with (this is just a starter):

    1. the efficacy of the vaccine with mutations over the short, medium and long-term (access and speed of supply of new vaccines to combat mutations that are more harmful and contagious)
    2. the long term effects on people
    3. the potential for increased harm to people with more virulent mutations

    Currently some of the recent "chatter" out there highlights (some parts mentioned by others already in this post):

    It may all blow over, however, has the flu ever stopped mutating and killing?

    "One of the earliest reports of an influenza-like illness comes from Hippocrates, who described a highly contagious disease from northern Greece (ca. 410 B.C)

    It is fair to question to ask if NZ Inc are currently rolling out the vaccine as effectively as possible (sometimes certain branches of government should not be tasked with logistics and operational delivery…. would other govt departments or private sector be better?). How do we do it better should be the focus… not the blame game.

    However, if National or whoever are complaining about NZ Inc not opening up quick enough, then what and how do they propose to manage the above potential threats. Not so easy to answer? I get why they are pressing for it (income lost, lives hurt) but at the end of the day wont be held accountable as they are the opposition. Nationals leaders need to do this analysis as well and present some cogent responses instead of one liners (logical evidence based arguments are were you win voters). I admit that any opposition around the would find it hard at the moment to not be seen as whingers rather than positive contributors to the countries response.

    Aside, NZ at our disposal have blunt weapons to combat COVID, including

    1. The boarder (the great big moat called the Pacific Ocean) and appropriate border controls where countries do not comply
    2. Local, regional or nation wide lockdowns
    3. Intel from other countries (they go first, we watch, assess and the move)

    A question to end…..(

    Vaccines aside, with all the learnings over the past year have bigger countries such as Brazil, USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy etc…. been effective in keeping the vulnerable safe while vaccines where developed?

    From what I can tell only partially, but in general no (happy to be proven wrong)

    The question to leave you good people (including Judith Collins and Hoskins et al) is

    Why not? and…….

    How, in the future for the next pandemic do we do it better (keep the vulnerable safe and still keep a relatively healthy economy?)

    Why is it that we cant even keep people such as Captain Sir Tom Moore SAFE ('National inspiration' dies with Covid-19). Are we as nations to cheap, or worse…. lazy?

    Keep well everyone

    • Karl Sinclair 18.1

      Actually, the BBC summed it all up:

      "Australian virologist Ian Mackay, the first to use the Swiss cheese model in relation to the pandemic, says, in reality, the cheese's holes will constantly open, shut and shift location depending on our behaviour"

      "This is why he and other scientists say, even in places with widespread vaccine coverage, we need to continue using multiple measures to stop the Swiss cheese's holes aligning and letting the virus through."

  19. Karl Sinclair 19

    Once upon a time National, Hoskins et al peer through the shop window, eyes wide in wonder at the cookies in the cookie jar. They start salivating, fling open the door, skip gleefully across the shop floor and stick there wee fingers into the jar to extract the sweet delights.

    But having not performed their risk analysis (which of course is fairy tail stuff) they fail to notice that this is no ordinary shop

    They stare up at the shop keeper and mutter

    My shop keeper, what big eyes you have

    My shop keeper, what big teeth you have

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