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What happens when the Covid vaccine becomes available?

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, December 4th, 2020 - 60 comments
Categories: boris johnson, covid-19, Donald Trump, health, International - Tags:

Boris Johnson and the UK conservatives must be very pleased.  As infection and death rates spike and hospital beds fill up the Pfizer vaccine has been approved and is beginning to be rushed out.

After making a complete and utter fcuk up of the response they have a second chance, this time through vaccines that appear to work.  Fingers crossed there are no problems.

From the Guardian:

The UK has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid, opening the way for mass immunisation with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to begin next week for those most at risk.

The vaccine has been authorised for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), before decisions by the US and Europe. The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorisation in the UK after Brexit.

The first doses of the vaccine would arrive in the coming days, said the company. The UK has bought 40m doses of the vaccine, which has been shown to have 95% efficacy in its final trials.

The article reports that the United States is also rushing through emergency approval of the vaccine.  Such urgent action is necessary because America has also made a complete hash of its handling of the virus.  It has not helped that the current POTUS is more interested in playing golf, alleging voter fraud conspiracies and engaging in culture war skirmishes with professionals, who know what they are talking about, urging protective measures to be taken.

From Radio New Zealand:

Record-high Covid infections and hospitalisations have been reported in the US, with fears they will not slow in the run-up to Christmas.

The number of people in hospital passed 100,000 for the first time, a figure that has doubled since early November.

New cases rose by a record 195,695 on Wednesday, and the daily death toll of 2,733 was close to a new high.

The city of Los Angeles has reacted to an unprecedented surge there by ordering residents to stay at home.

Nationwide, infections are now closing in on 14 million, with more than 264,000 deaths, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

Figures have continued to soar in recent weeks, with around a million new infections reported every week in November. – equivalent to 99 every minute.

In response to surging numbers, US authorities have warned that the country’s healthcare system faces an unprecedented strain this winter.

“The reality is that December, January and February are going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” said Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccination process is not going to be a simple one.  The Lancet has estimated that the vast majority of the population may need to be vaccinated, depending on the duration of the vaccine’s effects and its efficacy.

From the article:

How much vaccine is required by any given country year by year to create herd immunity to block SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and how long this will take requires calculations with clearly defined assumptions. Vaccine delivery will probably scale up only gradually as manufacturing capabilities develop over 12–24 months post licensure of a COVID-19 vaccine. As such, the impact of vaccination on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 will start slowly and build up over a few years to reach target coverage levels. The amount of vaccine required for a defined population will depend on evidence from phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials on efficacy and what can be assumed about the average duration of vaccine protection—it will be an assumption until the findings of phase 4 trials on duration of both protection against infection and severe disease are reported.

Countries with large infection rates are not going to be able to come out and party the first week the vaccine is released.  It is going to have to be a carefully managed and precise process, qualities that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump amongst other right wing leaders have not demonstrated so far.

And the vaccination rates required are going to challenge those of us who do not accept their validity.  In the US only 58% of the population has indicated a willingness to receive the vaccination.  They are going to have to do much better than that if they want to quell the virus.

New Zealand is planning to roll out the vaccine in March 2021.  It is good that we have a bit of time to measure the efficacy of the vaccine.  Right now the United Kingdom is going to become one big experiment.

At some stage we are going to have to review our approach to border security.  But I think that for now we should sit back and wait and see if the US and the UK handle the virus better than they have so far.

60 comments on “What happens when the Covid vaccine becomes available? ”

  1. gsays 1

    Not for me thanks.

    Too many don't knows, '. rushed..', '..emergency..' and the good old commerce in the equation.

    Herd immunity is now possible… What little reading I have done indicates the virus mutates at unheralded rates.

    Time and time again these corporations have used weasel words, half truths and omissions, let alone when a fourth estate and a populace are clamouring for a silver bullet.

    • lprent 1.1

      Herd immunity is now possible…

      Unlikely. Based on what we're aware of at present, my back of the envelope calcs indicate that herd immunity is unlikely to be particularly effective for at least a decade and probably longer. I suspect that this is a species that we adapt to as being endemic (ie by dying and natural selection) rather than it adapting to us.

      …the virus mutates at unheralded rates.

      Depends what your criteria is.

      It seems to mutate at much lower levels than influenza, common cold, smallpox, HIV, chickenpox, polio and almost any other virus that we're aware of that hasn't been embedded in human populations for thousands of years.

      It is a more complex virus than almost anything else that has entered the human population, appears to have multiple disease vectors, and effects in its existing repository. Which means that it doesn't have to mutate in the way that influenza does.

      It also appears to have jumped between more known species than most of the viruses that we know about – bats, pangolins, camels, mink, tigers etc. The increased pool of hosts also increases the probability of picking up tricks from other virus species as well as the forced selection from species hopping.

      • gsays 1.1.1

        Thanks LPrent, from what I have read if yr posts so far on this subject, that all sounds correct.

        I have been mildly amused to watch the narrative from months ago, shift from 'vaccine is improbable and unlikely to be effective" to ' A VACCINE! A VACCINE!'.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          It is going to take until sometime around the end of next year to get vaccines in NZ dispersed wide enough to inhibit community transmission.

          In the meantime I guess that people will just have to get used to taking holidays here and going through quarantine for business trips (my company has two doing that at present – they will out before xmas).

          I thought that we might get trips to aussie. The pretty regular community outbreaks there are getting better handled. But still far too frequent. We can’t really open up elsewhere without a quarantine for places like the islands because Aussie is the most important travel link that we actually need. And there is no way that we want another 1918 Samoa.

      • Pierre 1.1.2

        I don't know the calculation behind it but the hopeful scenario in Britain is that vaccinating around 30-40% of the population should be enough to bring the rate of infection down to the point where it settles down to a handful of cases per day, rather than the hundreds of cases we have now.

        And I think you're right to make comparisons to the failed herd immunity strategy, it does look like a variation of that. The Tories never committed to go for zero cases, it's always been a case of managing hospitalisations within what the NHS can handle.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    This survey makes for alarming reading, although it probably explains why otherwise well governed European countries in particular has been hard hit by the virus:

    https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2020-11/global-attitudes-on-a-covid-19-vaccine-oct-2020.pdf

    • Andre 2.1

      "Conducted October 8-13, 2020". So before the most recent surge really took off, and after the previous wave had died down.

      I wonder if the results would be different now, somewhere near the peak of a new wave?

  3. Andre 3

    On the topic of efficacy and protection duration:

    Even if getting vaccinated doesn't completely prevent someone catching the disease, but instead means the disease is mild and quickly recovered from without greatly reduced risk of long-term harm, that's a win in my books even if many other people consider it a failure.

    Similarly, even if vaccine-derived immunity quickly dwindles to the point that it becomes fairly likely that someone could again become ill, but there's enough residual protection that the illness is mild and quickly recovered from without greatly reduced risk of long-term harm, that's a win in my books even if many other people consider it a failure.

    It may be that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will become similar to the cold coronaviruses in common circulation. Ie, something the whole population first gets exposed to at a very early age, and it has relatively little effect at that young age. But that early exposure gives enough protection that re-exposure later in life doesn't cause the damage we're seeing now in older people exposed to it for the first time.

    • Sabine 3.1

      the damages is not only in older people, its in young and the very young.

      I think we need to lay to rest that only the older people are the ones mainly affected, they are simply the fastest to die due to being old. ( i know it sounds callous, but it also is a fact).

      There were 2700 reported covid death yesterday in the US, i doubt all of them are 'old'.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        I'm well aware that younger people can be affected. I have a late-20s nephew dealing with long covid from getting it in February or March, and he was fit, healthy, with no known health problems before getting covid.

        Nevertheless, it is still a fact that the risks are low for the young, and rise sharply with age. That differential risk needs to be considered in the response, and is a clue to the future path of the disease. Because global eradication of it is extremely unlikely, it's something that will be with us effectively forever.

        • Sabine 3.1.1.1

          I politely disagree with you on your idea that hte risk are higher for the older. The risks for the older are different, more lethal, the risks for hte younger is a lifetime with various serious health issues arising from busted lungs, hearts, neurological issues, blood clotting and so on , and of course death – which may come prematurely due to covid.

          And so far we have done a good job of pretending that the health issues stemming from 'surviving' covid, or from being a long hauler don't exist. Maybe because simply it is to scary to think of as is hte case with the US, were half of hte population is going to suffer ailments for the rest of their lifes and are uninsurable because of 'covid – pre-existing reasons'.

          • Andre 3.1.1.1.1

            Have a look at the data for New York City broken out by age bracket, and compare the curves for cases, hospitalisation, and death rates. Then try to explain your disagreement with the idea that the risks are higher for the older.

            https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data-totals.page#rates

            edit: I’ve also got a niggling suspicion that the lower case rates in the younger age groups is at least partly due to the disease not affecting them as much. So there were likely a lot of asymptomatic/very mild cases in those age groups that haven’t been detected and reported.

            • Sabine 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Again, i have quite clearly laid out why i consider the risks equal.

              Again, older people are closer to death, and in many cases would die easier then a young person – you are absolutly correct.

              And now to the young ones, babies have died, children have died, young and healthy people have died.

              NY was in April, now is November and the whole of the country is suffering, and we are understanding the disease better.

              However, i think it is short sighted to believe that the risk for th e young ones to be permantenly disabled by covid is 'lesser'.

              That is all i have to say about that.

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.1.2

              We have no idea what the risks are apart from those who drop dead of it immediately after infection. We simply don't have the baseline of experience to know it one way or another.

              There are a number of diseases that, if they don't kill immediately, have some pretty severe long term effects that often don't show up in the short term and can cause lifetime medical effects often with early death.

              Rubella come to mind with unborn and parental sterility issues. Post-polio weakness of muscles. Diptheria with damage to heart. Some of the more nasty effects from smallpox lesions. Shingles from chickenpox.

              And these are just the ones from my general knowledge.

              At present long-term issues are essentially unknown issues. There simply isn't enough data or even followup to see what the longer-term implications are. Trying to use short-term risk levels to assess long-term risk levels is a fools game.

              It is like trying to predict where a companies share price is in a longer term position by graphing recent stock movements and ignoring the business fundamentals – basically an exercise in futility.

              I'm pretty sure that principle is what Sabine is arguing. I know it is what I was thinking reading your comment.

              • weka

                I follow a NZ long hauler on twitter. From what I can tell the health system in NZ isn't even acknowledging they exist yet. That's GPs and MoH. My own experience of disability from chronic illness is and that of others in NZ is that we are woefully prepared for the emergence of a new chronic illness like this. That can be remedied, but vague arguments about relative risk don't stack up against what's happening to real people right now.

                • lprent

                  The health system is still far more geared up towards quick fixes than it is to chronic diseases of any kind.

                  I die in the ambulance, get revived and get a stent shoved in me and then there is just a occasional monitoring operation for the next decade (he says looking at the form for the blood test on my desk). Someone gets ALS and there is a constant grind to keep them alive for decades.

                  Doctors are just as prone to go for the sugar rush as any other chocolate addict.

                  Humans – just so damn predictable once you strip away the rationalisations.

            • Phillip ure 3.1.1.1.1.3

              another factor could be people not wanting to be tested..'

              'cos it will mess up their health insurance..

              pre-existing condition…and all that..

    • weka 3.2

      lots of maybes. I can understand why countries like the US and the UK want to start wtih vaccination programmes before we really know how they will work. Am way less convinced about NZ, and I still want to see the theories about the plan eg when we would open borders, how risk will be assessed (health and economic), who gets to decide and so on.

      • Sabine 3.2.1

        Being a cynical being, i would like to say that the US and the UK are exactly where they want to be – hear immunity and all that jazz, and that the usual suspects in the US and in hte UK are making a killing so to speak.

        Yes, i am that cynical, and so far i never met any politicians and other high ranking members of society that would not have helped increased that cynicism by their daily actions.

        Create a crisis and make a lot of money pretending to fix it. 🙂

        • weka 3.2.1.1

          I'm not quite that cynical, but I certainly think that the UK and US goverment's vaccine programmes are driven by economic ideology not the wellbeing of the people they govern for. I really feel for the people living there, because I doubt those governments will make the best use of the vaccine technology and will instead go down the expediency route. We should learn from this, as we have a reprieve with Ardern's Labour but no guarantees that we won't be in the same situation in three or ten years time.

          • lprent 3.2.1.1.1

            I'm pretty sure that they will come a bit of a cropper trying to do too much too fast and not covering the population over time. Especially the US. They will do their 'mission accomplished' thing way too early. Then get yet another winter outbreak – and only then throw the required resources at the issue.

            I don't think that NZ will be open for much until the end of 2021. We'll target vaccination to combat spread. That means the border, quarantine hotel, transporting and guarding staff first. Medical second in case there is an outbreak. Then the elderly and immunity challenged with those associated with them. Probably then the kids because we really need to know the repeat interval and they're the safest and most likely to get exposed through the kids lack of congregation discrimination.

            Then the general adult population.

            • weka 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I guess the thing I don't get is what the plan is. Is it to get say 80% of NZ vaccinated before we open the borders and let people with covid come straight in? How long until we know if that works? eg how long the protection from the vaccine lasts in different demographics? When will we know what the repeat interval needs to be? Or side/adverse effects beyond the short term?

              Not saying that we shouldn't proceed, just find it unsettling to see so many unanswered questions and people wanting to rush.

              I'm also mindful that unless we are making the vaccine ourselves we should be letting countries with high community transmission and death rates have first access to vaccine stores. We're actually ok in the meantime, there's going to be countries that aren't and I'm not thinking the US and the UK here but poorer countries.

              • McFlock

                We're not getting any for months. I'm not even sure they've officially identified what risk groups to prioritise in what order (the sensible choice will be iso workers and covid clinicians, I'm just not sure they have formally made the decision yet).

                I'm not sure we'd want to let people with covid come straight in for a while, though – even if we're all ok, 50k people getting off planes each week would still be a big chunk of our ICU system if even 1% have it when they get off the plane (assuming say 5% of that 1%[500/wk] need ICU care for a month, that's 25/wk stabilising at a consistent 100 covid ICU cases).

                Back of the envelope math, but still a caution on completely opening borders any time soon.

                That's assuming lack of any significant improvement in screening tests at the border.

                • weka

                  Good point about the plane %. I was more thinking about not mass numbers but enough numbers to bring covid into the community. If the vaccination programme is completed to whatever % of the population, and we know efficacy and adverse reaction rates, and we know how long immunity lasts generally and that we have the stocks to reimmunise people, and we know more about long haul and so on, that makes sense. I'm just not sure that's what's on offer yet.

                  • McFlock

                    Looking at the iso numbers at the moment, one plane load can do it.

                    At the moment, a lot of the numbers you point out are blank, or pencilled-in. But even if it's not suitable for national distribution, an efficacy of 50% with mild adverse effects would still be better than just PPE for covid-contact workers. So while I doubt any of the vaccines will be worthless, they might not be the the one that gets the world cranking up again (although: good question as to whether we should crank up the old machine again, e.g. cruise ships).

                    But even at a "herd immunity" level, there will still be community outbreaks, just like with measles. Someone will get off a plane and go to a gathering or community that, for whatever reason, is under-protected. But the outbreak will be contained within the under-protected clusters, rather than stuffing the entire country.

          • Pierre 3.2.1.1.2

            You're right to be critical of motivations, I don't trust the state or the pharmaceutical corporations either. But at this point I think there are a lot of people in Britain (myself included) who will be rolling up our sleeves and getting in line the moment the vaccine is available.

            • weka 3.2.1.1.2.1

              totally agree Pierre. If I was in the UK my perception of risk assessment and what is reasonable would be completely different than the one I have here in NZ currently. I would also want to talk a lot about how to protect vulnerable people, but that conversation should be happening in any country with community transmission anyway.

  4. Sabine 4

    do we get our money back if it does not work?

    • Andre 4.1

      Define "does not work".

      • weka 4.1.1

        People in NZ start dying and getting disabled from covid.

        • Andre 4.1.1.1

          Start? We’ve already had death and disability from covid in New Zealand.

          So personally I'd modify that a wee bit to something like:

          "Vaccinated people dying and getting disabled in NZ at rates greater than (say) 10% of the rate observed in unprotected populations."

          Note that the definition of "works" means people might still get sick from covid after being vaccinated, but that the harmful results are significantly reduced on average.

          • weka 4.1.1.1.1

            Start again then. We had covid, some people got sick, some got disabled, some died. Then we eliminated covid. We allow small numbers of people with covid into the country but either manage to stop that spreading to the community or take prompt action when it does. So at the moment the risk for people in NZ who haven't come from overseas is *very low for getting disabled or dying from covid.

            What's the benefit we are willing to change that for, to bring back homegrown disability and death? Who gets to decide?

            Note that the definition of "works" means people might still get sick from covid after being vaccinated, but that the harmful results are significantly reduced on average.

            Sure, and luck for us I guess that other countries are going to run that particular large scale, off-piste experiment. NZ is in a completely different situation. For us the issue is almost entirely economic. When will we open the borders again, and at what risk/cost? Who gets to decide?

            • Andre 4.1.1.1.1.1

              At the moment,because there is no even moderately effective prevention or treatment, the risk of harm from covid is a lot higher than risks we all routinely accept from other sources. So most of the population consider it acceptable to temporarily suspend a lot of activities to locally eliminate that risk.

              When a a vaccination (or treatment) becomes available that reduces risks from covid to a level equivalent or lower than we routinely accept from other activities, most of us will be happy to resume things that were suspended while covid risks were high.

              It's very unlikely that using post-vaccine-availability risks from covid as a stalking horse to impose other agendas will be accepted by more than a tiny fraction of the population. That is, if those risks really are miniscule compared to routine everyday risks from other sources.

              • weka

                My risk of disability from a rugby or mountain climbing accident is nil. What other activities did you have in mind? All sounds terribly vague to me. I understand the general point you are making, but as someone at risk from covid I want details. Not guarantees, but something more solid than 'acceptible risk' (which is basically what the right were saying pre- and post-lockdown).

                What are the stalking horse agendas?

                • Andre

                  Routine risks from everyday life include: driving, slips and falls, food poisoning, common illnesses, etc etc.

                  Without a vaccine or effective treatment, risk from covid is higher than most of those. If the vaccine (or some hypothetical future treatment) reduces the risk from covid down to much smaller than any of those routine risks, then I'm happy to relax the fairly minimal restrictions we're still living with.

                  In this case I'm using the term stalking horse in the sense of using one issue to try to push through an agenda on another topic that's at best only peripherally related.

                  • weka

                    You think having the borders closed is a fairly minimal restriction? Interesting. I guess I see a big push to open the borders and get back to normal and I'm curious how that will work with a largely untested vaccination programme.

                    I think the comparison with driving etc isn't the right one, because that's essential saying let's add this risk on top of existing ones. I think the risk analysis should be more around who is at risk, how are we going to look after them if we decide to sacrifice their safety for our lives going back to normal, or saving the economy or whatever. Show me the plan for long haulers for instance, how they will get an income if they can't work, what will maintain *their standard of living and so on.

                    "In this case I'm using the term stalking horse in the sense of using one issue to try to push through an agenda on another topic that's at best only peripherally related."

                    Sure, I know what a stalking horse is, but I still don't know what you are imagining. Can you give some examples?

      • Sabine 4.1.2

        may not actually work that well – not ever were we lied to by a pharmaceutical company that has hit the holy grail in money making.

        • Andre 4.1.2.1

          A key point about the vaccine trials is that the important information gathering is done by an organisation that is independent of the company producing the vaccine and independent of the health professionals administering the trial vaccines and monitoring the individual patient outcomes. Well, at least in western countries anyways, who knows what the fuck happens in China and Russia.

          So the potential for lying is much much lower than in conventional drug development. Where the company designs and runs the trials, and gets to pick and choose which trials get submitted for publication and regulatory approval.

          • lprent 4.1.2.1.1

            The basic difference between the review of vaccines and that of other drugs is because vaccines are a clear public health issue where the risks are to whole populations, both from the disease and from any adverse effects of the vaccine itself. Most drugs are assessed against the risk to the few with the disease rather that preventative inoculations.

            But there is some outright dangerous quackery that you can find in the history of vaccine usage like one of the first polio vaccines that made subsequent exposure to polio more dangerous. Umm.. from here some of the more egregious examples of bad vaccine usage along with the repetitive attempts by the individual few against the common good – written before the current anti-vaxxer movement took hold.

            • Andre 4.1.2.1.1.1

              More recently there's the Dengvaxia debacle.

              Apparently there's several strains of dengue. Once you've been exposed to one, subsequent exposure to one of the other strains results in a much more severe illness. The Dengvaxia vaccine apparently prevents that subsequent severe second illness if it's administered to someone that's already had a first exposure, but in someone that hasn't had a first exposure Dengvaxia acts like that first exposure creating a heightened risk of a severe subsequent illness.

              This effect was known and warned about before a large vaccination programme in the Philippines, but it went ahead anyway without doing the obvious screening for prior exposure. Resulting in serious harm to quite a few people.

              • lprent

                Yeah. Really stupid decision like that don't help. Generally live but denatured vaccines aren't the safest. The Cutter polio vaccine in 1954(?) was like that as well.

              • greywarshark

                Presumably that was an acceptable risk, in comparison with that of cases of dengue multiplying. After comparing covid vaccine risk with others regarded as routine, your argument doesn't seem clear.

                Routine risks from everyday life include: driving, slips and falls, food poisoning, common illnesses, etc etc.

                There is a percentage of people in NZ affected by after-virus ailments; these are real and cause dysfunction in living at various levels of disablement. To be easy-peasy about adding to the routine risks we already face is an inadequate approach and takes us nearer to the situation of being 'the straw that broke the camel's back'.

  5. Dick Michaels 5

    "Voter fraud conspiracies"

    The writer obviously hasn't seen the eyewitness or expert evidence from any of the recent republican state hearings.

    • Andre 5.1

      You wanna link to any of this eyewitness or expert evidence you're talking about?

      Those hearings you refer to – are they the stunts put on for the cameras outside of courtrooms where people just say whatever they feel like to sucker the gullible?

      Because when allegations get to courtrooms, it seems like they just evaporate away to nothing. Probably because just making up shit in front of a judge can actually have serious consequences.

      BTW, putting a comment about voting fraud under an OP about covid doesn’t say much for your cognitive processes.

    • lprent 5.2

      I have. Almost as hysterical and deranged assertions of unsubstantiated facts as watching footage from the McCarthy era Committee on Activities that McCarthy didn't like.

      I swear that some of the sad nutbars who are more interested in screaming about 'red spies in the state department' from that era have reincarnated as our current conspiracy fuckwits in the US.

      Just as was obvious from the similar behaviour of cat-calling 'experts' back in the 1950s and revealed in historical revelations afterwards – most of the current hysterical conspiracy 'experts' are simply making crap up with no evidential backing.

      Which is why, when they take it to the hard light of a court room, it gets thrown out as spurious rubbish by Republican judges. Perhaps you should read some of their scathing decisions.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    I think we will see soft compulsion for the vaccine creep in, at least for those people who want to hop on a plane anytime soon. Airlines are already laying the platform for that.

    So no one will be made to take, what is still an experimental vaccine. But you will inevitably be required to do so unless you want to stay locked up locally for the medium term future.

    • lprent 6.1

      So no one will be made to take, what is still an experimental vaccine. But you will inevitably be required to do so unless you want to stay locked up locally for the medium term future.

      That will last right up until we get the first person who has been ‘vaccinated’ who then proceeds to go through customs and manages to infect others and it gets contact traced back to them.

      Ignoring the obvious issues with self-entitled dipshits bypassing procedures, vaccinations themselves aren’t a perfect defence. They are a statistical defence that can be overwhelmed by virus load or having a diminished immune system by doing things like sitting in a tube breathing the air of other people, sitting around terminals mixed with people from all over the world, having a lack of exercise doing a 32 hour trip to the other side of the world, drinking substantive amounts of alcohol from boredom, and getting insufficient sleep. Of course I know this is rare with normal life…. But flying isn’t exactly something that our immune systems were designed for.

      Historically the only time that type of procedure has worked has been when the population itself is largely vaccinated. Then when the inevitable breaches happen the disease doesn’t achieve a break out into the population.

      If the airlines push for it, then it should carry a complete civil liability to encourage them to look at the costs.

      • weka 6.1.1

        the statistical defence thing should be high on the list for public education right now.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          Yeah. I might have to think about how to express that. I get the impression that people are falling into the magic bullet way of thinking about vaccines.

    • Phil 6.2

      I think we will see soft compulsion for the vaccine creep in… But you will inevitably be required to do so unless you want to stay locked up locally for the medium term future.

      I imagine the visa approval processes for most countries will just add another requirement: evidence of receiving the vaccine. How that plays out for travel that doesn't require a visa, maybe it's just a standard addition to the immigration process.

    • Andre 6.3

      There's plenty of historical precedent for requiring vaccination before entry.

      Lots of countries currently require yellow fever vaccination before entry. Including Australia, if you have been in certain countries within six months of arrival in Australia. Fair enough, too, since aedes aegypti is established in Australia, so yellow fever could easily break out if it was imported.

      IIRC, historically cholera vaccination was required for some countries. Maybe smallpox vaccination too.

      Personally I don't have a problem with requiring covid vaccination for entry to NZ. Or requiring it for returning citizens and permanent residents as well, although that may run afoul of the basic right of return for citizens.

      • Fran 6.3.1

        Oh, Bill of rights stuff here. Where do we draw the line in demanding medical procedures for entry into the country? Must have this vaccine, you have three children so you must be sterilised? Mandating medical procedures, no matter how important we think they are is a pretty scary proposition and a very slippery slope to authoritarian rule. While this pandemic is without doubt a major global emergency knee jerk reactions for silver bullet fixes may have some long lasting and serious long term consequences.

        • Incognito 6.3.1.1

          Just as well there are safeguards in place to prevent us from slipping into authoritarian rule, e.g. what calls itself the Fourth Estate and the co-called Opposition. Some of the decisions/actions by Dr Bloomfield were challenged in Court. Last time I checked, Aotearoa has not descended into Martial Law and Authoritarian Rule since the lockdowns despite the fearmongering by some with a dubious agenda. In fact, turnout at the Election was high.

        • KJT 6.3.1.2

          I remember when vaccinations like Cholera and Yellow fever were required to enter countries.

          Entirely appropriate to protect people.

          If you want a "choice" to spread disease, others should have a "choice" not to associate with you.

  7. Gristle 7

    Who gets vaccinated first?

    I suggest that with Covide 19 being stopped at the border, the first people to be vaccinated should be the airline staff, customs and immigration staff and staff at the quarantine sites.

    Ideally the first vaccinations should go to improve the strength of the border defence.

    The second round should be aimed at health workers. This secures NZ's capability to medically respond to covid 19 infections without endangering workers.

    The third tier of vaccinations should focus on all those people deemed essential workers.

    Only after these first three tiers are addressed should vaccination be opened up for other parts of the community.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      ….those people deemed essential workers.

      Good idea. We should put the workers at the Griffins bikkie factory at the front of the third tier queue.

  8. Here in Britain, we are waiting for the actual 'time' for the so-called virus vaccine to come 'about'. As always, more 'cons' than 'pros' in it happening!

  9. Oh dearie me, quite possible the likes of the certain laddie named Savage, and any other like minded thinking folk, just might like to a bit more sceptical in what is 'pumped' morning,noon, and night towards our general direction via a totally over zealous media/governments in what one can call a frenzy feed. Follow the science we are told. Oh really. What do we get now eh with the genie out of the bottle, in scientists who could never make their minds up at the best of times, having their X amount of time of fame.

    Real cheering to see the fella holding up the sign with the word damn in it. Does that not tell you something of the way we live now eh?

    • Incognito 9.1

      What’s your point or do you like to play riddles? This is a forum for exchange of information and ideas and for robust debate. For riddles, we can read Matthew Hooton or listen to the utterings of the Taxpayers Onion or the Hologram.

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