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Why vaccine mandates are needed

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, October 27th, 2021 - 165 comments
Categories: covid-19, Economy, health, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, workers' rights - Tags:

We are getting near the pointy edge of our collective Covid response.

Elimination was great.  Unlike just about every other nation in the world Aotearoan citizens avoided widespread death and could do pretty well whatever we pleased for a long period of time.

Then Delta hit.

This commentary from David Skegg in the Herald summed what had happened well:

He has been warning to expect, and prepare for, a Delta outbreak since well before this one started.

“Whereas we had been lucky after several previous incursions of SARS-CoV-2, our luck ran out this time,” he said.

The virus had a head-start because vaccination coverage was low, about 1000 people had already caught it by the time it was detected, and the outbreak had a springboard in the super-spreading church event in South Auckland.

“Finally, the outbreak got established among people who were living in marginalised sections of the community, including the homeless and those in transitional housing, as well as gangs, and this has made case identification and contact tracing very difficult,” he said.

“New Zealand is paying the price for allowing such a big gap to develop, over several decades, between the rich and poor in our society. Infectious diseases typically spread most rapidly among the poor and marginalised, including people in crowded housing.

“These people suffer the most, but the whole community is worse off as well.”

The vaccination roll out continues to gather momentum.  New Zealand is now in the upper half of vaccination rates in the OECD and with a number of second vaccinations to still be administered should eventually be very highly ranked.

But every percentage point the vaccination rate is increased could save hundreds if not thousands of lives each year and potentially save our health system from being overwhelmed.

This is why collateral public health measures are so important.  Every additional protective measure will drive down the spread of the virus and save lives.

Yesterday the Government announced vaccine mandates, requiring all employees in restaurants, gyms and hairdressers to be vaccinated within a period of time.

From Jordan Bond at RNZ:

No jab, no job policies are ramping up in their reach across the country.

Under incoming laws, any business that will require a vaccine certificate for customers must also have fully vaccinated workers. This includes cafes, restaurants, gatherings including churches, events, gyms and hairdressers, and other close contact businesses.

This is about 25 percent of the country’s entire workforce, Workplace Minister Michael Wood said. This was in addition to another 15 percent who are already or will be soon required to be jabbed, including teachers, some health staff and border workers. The government estimates this will be about 40 percent of the entire workforce.

Employees that refuse to get vaccinated can legally be shown the door after a four week paid notice period.

Some business owners are breathing a sigh of relief, happy the legal question has been taken out of their hands, and the employment law risk enforcing their own mandate could carry.

My personal view is that the steps are warranted.  In the middle of a global pandemic that has caused millions of deaths strong public health measures are vital and people in public facing positions should do their best to minimise the virus’s spread.

Politicians should also play their part.  Thames Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie and Auckland Councillor Tracy Mulholland have both fudged their response to questions on if they are vaccinated.  I get the feeling that a refusal to do what Jacinda has asked them

There are claims that people are being villified.  But this is not accurate.  The measure is to drive and incentivise vaccinations as well as reduce the spread of the virus.

Broadly there are three groups of unvaccinated people:

  1. Those who because of personal circumstances or remoteness from vaccination centres have not been able to be vaccinated as yet.
  2. Those who continue to be deeply worried at the prospect of being jabbed.
  3. Anti vaxers, including agenda 21 conspirators and Billy TK followers and Destiny Church members.

Group one need our help, group two need our compassion and group three deserve our disdain.

The opposition is again all over the place on the issue with Judith Collins supporting employers imposing a mandate but opposing the Government doing it.  Employers will be scratching their heads.  They need the certainty of a central mandate to minimise their legal risk.

She also wants the mandate dropped once the country reaches a 90% vaccination rate.  This is crazy.  We do not know what the situation will be at that time.  As shown by Japan’s response which has recently dramatically reduced new covid cases it is a combination of responses that is important.  Vaccinations by themselves will not suffice and we may need to draw on multiple responses to suppress the spread of the virus.

The best response is to keep measuring and keep adjusting not do as the United Kingdom has done and announce freedom day and then blunder on oblivious to an increasing death rate.

The measure is extraordinary.  And so is the threat.  The potential loss of thousands of lives in my view justifies measures that in more normal times would be considered to be extreme.

165 comments on “Why vaccine mandates are needed ”

  1. Darien Fenton 1

    Well said Greg. Our history is full of examples where health measures have been taken to limit illness and deaths. Smoking is one example. From firstly outlawing it in workplaces (Helen Clark) to outlawing it in restaurants, bars, public places, hospitals, casinos, schools etc. It does have similarity to the vax passport ; you can choose to smoke but you can’t put others at risk. In this example, it would be ludicrous if staff were smoking while others were banned from doing so.

    • georgecom 1.1

      it's pretty much a health intervention and we have existing example as you have well pointed out. Others include the large increases in tobacco tax, the Maori Party wanted to deliberately make it too expensive for Maori. We have compulsory seat belts wearing, a safety measure to reduce death and injury and save our health system the costs. A minimum price on servings of alcohol or a tax on sugar would amount to health interventions. The caveat I have is that the vaccine mandate needs to be reviewable and reversible once we get to some acceptable (I am assuming of course we can and will) equilibrium living with covid.

      As for Judith Collins, a blind man with a white stick could chart a clearer path forward than her. The womans all over the place

  2. roy cartland 2

    What's the compassionate path of action towards those in group 2? Those who say they have been traumatised in the past by being forced or coerced to take medication or have medical procedures? Or been at the sharp end of the State for other reasons?

    Genuine question. I'd like to be able to help some I know, but they're not interested in stats or probabilities or logic.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      The Health Ministry have put out a lot of information to try and placate and persuade these people. This group is not easy to deal with and I suspect a lot of patience and support is needed.

    • Visubversa 2.2

      What may work for them is a couple of things. Talking to people they trust for a start. Medical professionals can, and are doing outreach to those of their clients/patients who are not yet vaccinated. Respected members of their community – elders – sports stars – religious leaders all have a part to play. The motivating effect of not being able to get into a bar, or a movie theatre also has a role to play. Job mandates can move the dial considerably of those that say they won't get the jab, but decide they actually do want to keep the job, especially when they contemplate the alternatives.

      • lprent 2.2.1

        Or SixSixty pointing out that attend one of their upcoming concerts, full vaccination will be required.

        • Poission 2.2.1.1

          Full non pharmaceutical prevention will also be required.

          A meal to die for

        • Sacha 2.2.1.2

          Perverse effect on some people. 🙂

    • Johnr 2.3

      My son is a project manager over several construction sites and he had a few group 2s. He is a fairly blunt guy and he persuaded them by saying.

      " Look your going to get covid, we all are sooner or later, so the only decision you need to make is how sick do you want to get"

    • McFlock 2.4

      Well, maybe some videos of people talking about what state they were in when they were hospitalised for covid. There isn't a shortage. Might help them put things into perspective.

  3. DukeEll 3

    This is a cleverly thought through strategy from the Government. Many weeks of encouragement, then some rewards for extra encouragement to the remaining hold outs, now the stick. A clever long play and full credit to them. Not even going to point out that…

    Vaccines are for society, shunning vaccines is shunning society and your community.

  4. At least 242 million cases worldwide. At least 5 million confirmed deaths due to Covid-19. Probably 10 million if we include excess mortality data. That means that if you're unvaccinated, the chance of death is 1 in 20. The chances of being incredibly sick are much higher. The UK health system is still in disaster mode, despite BoJo's attempt to wallpaper over the problems.

    Covid may have killed up to 180,000 health workers globally, WHO says | Coronavirus | The Guardian

    • RedLogix 4.1

      The obvious objections to your calculation is that it doesn't take age or health status into account, also counting the number of infections is difficult because so very many are either mild or asymptomatic and don’t get counted. Almost certainly the total number of infections globally are far higher than the number reported, but even estimating a useful IFR is very difficult.

      Suggesting that COVID has an IFR of 5% is a good deal higher than most researchers estimate.

      Using these age-specific estimates, we estimate the overall IFR in a typical low-income country, with a population structure skewed towards younger individuals, to be 0.23% (0.14-0.42 95% prediction interval range). In contrast, in a typical high income country, with a greater concentration of elderly individuals, we estimate the overall IFR to be 1.15%

      New Zealand would likely be somewhere between these numbers in my view.

  5. Tricledrown 5

    The vaccine mandate is ironically largely to protect the unvaccinated.

    Waiting to change to open Auckland until 5 to 12 yr olds get vaccinated makes a lot of sense.

    Rushing to open up as Collins and many right wing business people are pushing will damage our health system more than needs be.

    • lprent 5.1

      …until 5 to 12 yr olds get vaccinated…

      That is looking more and more likely. From a few hours ago.

      Pfizer's request to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for Americans as young as 5 years old cleared a key regulatory hurdle Tuesday, after a panel of the Food and Drug Administration's outside vaccine advisers voted by a majority to back Pfizer's request.

      I think Medsafe, like the FDA, will have a close look at the relatively low numbers of people in the test studies (makes it hard to estimate the incidence of rarer side-effects) and then will look at the medical risks to kids in that age group from our society that is steadily opening up.

      The risk trade-off is stark but leans all one way – towards having vaccines available in that age group at a reduced dosage. The increasing numbers of kids having to go into hospital in places with high adult vaccination rates is pretty direct evidence of the downside of not vaccinating kids.

  6. Ad 6

    Hopefully Auckland Council itself is going to operate the Red Light system, so that it includes elected members as well.

    That would capture such fools as Tracy Mulholland to only be able to participate on Teams as a Councillor.

    Also presumably Mallard will require the Traffic Lights system to apply to all Members of Parliament as well, since National and Act are refusing to enable Teams.

  7. Heather Grimwood 7

    I recall vividly the relief at knowing my family was vaccinated against polio.

    I know my mother felt great relief when we were vaccinated against diphtheria and tested for TB.

    Therefore I am thankful my older great grandchildren are double-jabbed against this latest scourge and hope that comfort is soon available for parents of five to eleven year – olds.

    I know my mother felt

  8. Heather Grimwood 8

    I recall vividly the relief at knowing my family was vaccinated against polio.

    I know my mother felt great relief when we were vaccinated against diphtheria and tested for TB.

    Therefore I am thankful my older great grandchildren are double-jabbed against this latest scourge and hope that comfort is soon available for parents of five to eleven year – olds.

  9. Patricia Bremner 9

    Facebook and like sites have amplified those anti vaccine voices. So have some journalists.

    If we look at the % of the eligible, there is 3.4% of the13.4 aprox left to be vaccinated to achieve 90% The other 10% are in Mickey's last 3 groups of the eligible but unconvinced.

    If children were to be vaccinated 5 years to 11 years as well, this would counter the remaining 10% group and bring the % up to 95%. aprox. (This would also lift Maori rates of vaccination as they have a larger proportion of their population in their youth).

    That would be world leading and limit deaths and hospital admissions. If I have read the figures correctly.

    Let us hope the new variant in the UK does not reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines. We are in a race to save some lives…perhaps our own.

    Norway is not doing as well as I hoped they would.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Facebook and like sites have amplified those anti vaccine voices.

      A fair fraction of social media – TikTok, Twitter and FB especially are little better than mental illness factories as far as I'm concerned. It's worth noting that many individuals in the Big Tech space, especially at the top, are very careful to limit the exposure of themselves and their own families – to the same platforms they're getting rich off.

      All social media, even sadly The Standard at times, has the potential to devolve into pernicious positive feedback loops that are both addictive and corrode social cohesion. In the coming decade I suspect this issue will gain increasing traction.

  10. Gypsy 10

    Vaccine mandates are the price we have to pay for governments failure to adequately prepare for Delta. And I'm not only talking about this government.

    • dv 10.1

      Give as an example of a govt in the world that has/had adequately prepared for delta?

      • Gypsy 10.1.1

        Depends what you mean by 'adequately prepared'. Our government has been very clear – our main strategic approach has been elimination, via mechanisms that essentially limit transmission. But it's clear we failed to vaccinate early enough (we had the lowest vaxx rate in the OECD), and successive governments have failed to build ICU capacity to an acceptable rate even for pre-pandemic conditions.

        • georgecom 10.1.1.1

          the vaccination rollout was pretty much dictated by the global pattern of availability/supply. We had nowt much say in that. Unless we went to China for vaccines we had taken reasonable steps to cover ourselves and probably made a wise choice with going Pfizer only.

          The ICU situation is worrying. agreed. This tracks back to Tony Ryall and his starving the health system of funds. The Labour Govt has not resolved that in 4 years, there was not urgency applied to the problem.

          • Gypsy 10.1.1.1.1

            "the vaccination rollout was pretty much dictated by the global pattern of availability/supply. "

            No, it wasn't.

            • KJT 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah. Other criteria like seeing what worked, assessing safety and suitability. logistics and training, staffing, getting people motivated to do it etc.

              But keep listening to National's debunked lies, about negotiations with Phizer and bribes to get faster supply, if you want.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.2

              June 2020? Was it any more than a glint in a phase 2 triallist's eye at that stage?

              • Gypsy

                Was what? In June 2020 we needed to get going with a vaxx rollout. We waited too long and our roll out stuttered as a result.

                • McFlock

                  Was what? In June 2020 we needed to get going with a vaxx rollout.

                  Well, given the vaccine only entered phase 3 trials in November 2020, I'm not sure I agree.

                  You seem to believe we should have started jabbing people with genuinely untested vaccines in June 2020. What else? Inject half the country with bleach, the other half take horse pills?

                  • Andre

                    Erm, for the Pfizer vaccine, it was a bit earlier than November 2020. Wikipedia bombs again, from the looks of it.

                    It seems they did a combined phase 2/3 trial, and started screening their volunteers on July 27, 2020. From statements in the report such as "At the data cut-off date of October 9, a total of 37,706 participants had a median of at least 2 months of safety data available", it would seem large numbers were already vaccinated by early August.

                    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2034577

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, in the trials. Fair call on November, though – looks like they would have had the results of the last participants in november, from an early october cutoff.

                      But June? Shit, gypsy would have been whining that we wasted money on vaxs that didn't work as good as others, or at all.

                      Or complaining that the government hadn't started covid vaccinations in june 2019 lols

                  • Gypsy

                    A rollout includes work being done BEFORE vaccinations begin.

                    Like not keeping officials from a primary supplier waiting for 6 weeks.

                    Like not waiting until late January 2021 to place an order, and even then only ordering enough to vaccinate one half of 1% pf the population.

                    Like not being last in the OECD in August for vaccinations.

                    Like getting a second shipment of more vaccine than for just 4% of the population.

                    Like not waiting until March 2021 to order bulk supply.

                    Like getting the health system ready to deliver the vaccines.

                    • McFlock

                      last in august. Couple of months later, ahead of many, closing in on others.

                      We didn't rush. We planned ahead so when the time came, we could do it well.

                      Your absolute desperation to spread alarm and despondancy is being eroded by the facts on the ground.

                  • Gypsy

                    "We didn't rush. We planned ahead so when the time came, we could do it well."

                    If by 'planned ahead' you mean waited around while other countries got ahead of us, you'd be right.

            • georgecom 10.1.1.1.1.3

              yes it was, it was pretty much dictated by global patterns of availability/supply. Anyone who think otherwise isn't factoring in the real world situation. Go and ask the National Party what their plan was to increase vaccine availability – they don't have one. They had a vague plan for prioritising who go vaccinated, that's about redistributing the vaccines, not increasing the quantum.

              Early on the govt took a calculated punt on Pfizer, AstraZeneca, J&J and Novavax. The Pfizer one was a correct decision and as things became clearer it increased it's order on that. Novavax is developing the moniker Nevervax so we won't even bother with that.

              Early into 2021 there was a global scramble for vaccines, a global fight. The 3 main vaccines available were AZ, Pfizer and Moderna. The EU was example was threatening AZ and Pfizer with legal action and more for failing to meet it's production schedules. Italy stopped the export of 250,000 doses of AZ to Australia. North America was grabbing as much of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as it could. Moderna was pretty much only supplying North America. Vaccine companies were struggling to ramp up production, AZ had that, J&J had that toward the middle of the year. So a real shit fight.

              No one I have asked has been able to answer the simple question – where would NZ go for alternative vaccines. The answer wasn't India, because as they started to scale up AZ vaccine production for export, they had the Delta variant rip through the country thereby stopping export for several months.

              The only other feasible option was China – Sinovac, the Sinopharm Beijing vaccine (as opposed to the Wuhan vaccine which is pretty much only used in China) or Cansino. Some countries like Chile, Indonesia, the UAE all leant heavily on these vaccines. Some of the efficiency data coming out was not that flash. I wonder how kiwis would have reacted had the National Party announced plans to roll out the Sinovac vaccine. No doubt if the Govt had persued that option National would have moaned like buggery.

              We could have chosen to partner with Australia who were starting production of AZ domestically. By then however AZ was embroiled with a clusterfuck of issues with it's safety, countries suspending it's use and then authorising once again, sometimes out of desperation, and changing criteria who it was safe to use – over 30, over 50, and multiple changes to such. Mixed messages, uncertainty over it's safety, vaccine hesitancy. J&J experienced the same to a lesser extent when it's roll out scaled up. NZ avoided all of that with one vaccine and roll out.

              The only other option was the Sputnik vaccine. It is pretty effective by accounts, however, it's production around the world has been limited. Russia does not export great volumes, instead they look to set up manufacture in various countries. Production continues to be limited, production of the first dose is far higher than the second dose as they are different, the second is harder to manufacture. In more recent times the 'Sputnik Light' vaccine as been promoted, essentially the first and more easily manufactured dose.

              Thus, anyone who thinks there was a magic wand or simple solution to vaccine supply through the first half of 2021 is frankly either ignorant or being political.

              • Gypsy

                "it was pretty much dictated by global patterns of availability/supply. "

                Nope.

                1. The government did not meet Pfizer officials until June 2020, 6 weeks after Pfizer tried to initiate a meeting.
                2. The first order of vaccine was not made until late January 2021, and only 55,000 doses were ordered (only enough to vaccinate one half of 1% pf the population).
                3. When Delta hit NZ, we had only 20% of the population over 12 vaccinated.
                4. As at August 17th NZ was last in the OECD for vaccinations.
                5. The first ‘bulk’ shipment of vaccine did not arrive until mid July, 370,000 doses, still only enough to vaccinate a further 4% of the population.
                6. It was not until 8th March 2021 that the government ordered a significant quantity of vaccine (8.5m doses).
                7. Those supplies arrived in ‘dribbles’, and when they did, the government had not readied the health system for rapid delivery. “Both pharmacists and family doctors say they could have ramped up vaccinations earlier but for excessive red tape. Even now, only 143 of 500 vaccination-capable pharmacies and about 300 of 1000 GP practices are giving jabs.”
                • KJT

                  Your statements have been debunked before. By Mcflock etc.

                  But the last one is just comic.

                  An "urgent" appointment at our GP, takes 6 weeks. There is no way they could have coped with vaccinations on top. Even though the practice owners were keen for that business.
                  That problem has been building nationwide several years before Covid.

                  The National party is Not, a credible source of information.

                  • Gypsy

                    No, they haven't been debunked. The government hesitated, and we're paying the price.

                    • KJT

                      Rubbish. Georgecom on has got you dead to rights

                      ,"Thus, anyone who thinks there was a magic wand or simple solution to vaccine supply through the first half of 2021 is frankly either ignorant or being political".

                  • Gypsy

                    "An "urgent" appointment at our GP, takes 6 weeks. "

                    So you think all pharmacies and GP's operate to that standard? I can tell you they don't. So your local practise is not a credible source of information.

                    • KJT

                      You must have been asleep through the constant issues of increasing shortages of GP's countrywide, for over several decades.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Rubbish. "
                    Well you can make claims, but at the end of the day the Pfizer vaccine was available from December and we didn't place an order for several weeks after that. Why?

                  • Gypsy

                    "You must have been asleep through the constant issues of increasing shortages of GP's countrywide, for over several decades."
                    There's no shortage where I live. Certainly some regions have shortages, but that’s no excuse for a slow roll out nationwide. And there's no shortage of pharmacies. I got my second shot at a local pharmacy only days after booking. I’ll also quote you back from the article:

                    “Both pharmacists and family doctors say they could have ramped up vaccinations earlier but for excessive red tape. Even now, only 143 of 500 vaccination-capable pharmacies and about 300 of 1000 GP practices are giving jabs.” They WANTED to ramp up and couldn’t because of “excessive red tape”!

                    • KJT

                      Translation. They wanted to make money out of the vaccine rollout.

                      Even if it interferes with their primary function.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Translation. They wanted to make money out of the vaccine rollout. Even if it interferes with their primary function."

                    You have no idea whether it interferes with their primary function. You've been arguing they couldn't cope, and when I show you they actually want to do this you make shit up.

                    • KJT

                      "Wanting to do it", and the overworked staff being able to cope are two different things.

                      "Making shit up". Just about everywhere in Northland overloaded GP practices not taking on new patients, is "just my imagination". Yeah right!

                  • Gypsy

                    "So. Medsafe should have instantly assessed the safety of the Phizer vaccine?" Etc.

                    The UK had assessed and approved the vaccine in December 2020. We could and should have been able to do the same. Along with all of the other points your raise. Every other country in the OECD managed to.

                  • Gypsy

                    ""Wanting to do it", and the overworked staff being able to cope are two different things."

                    So first it was "it'll take 6 weeks". Then it was "increasing GP shortages". Then it was "making money out of the vaccine rollout" and it will "interfere with their primary function." Now, when you're shown clearly that doctors and pharmacies are both willing and able, you come up with "the staff can't cope". FFS.

                • georgecom

                  deal with the issues I have raised Gypsy – we went with Pfizer.

                  Explain to me where the other vaccines were which we might have accessed. Which ones? How would we have prioritised our access to them? That's the real world situation, increasing the overall supply of vaccines into the country.

                    • georgecom

                      once we locked in Pfizer as the preferred vaccine we were a somewhat captive audience. If you want to accuse the govt of being a bit slow or tardy in locking in Pfizer, maybe so. That's not about failures with the vaccination roll out in total however, as that is about the quantum of vaccines the country could access. That was a CF which no one has come up with a feasible solution to overcome. Lots of problems in first half of 2021, no one offering alternatives

                  • Gypsy

                    "If you want to accuse the govt of being a bit slow or tardy in locking in Pfizer, maybe so. That's not about failures with the vaccination roll out in total however, as that is about the quantum of vaccines the country could access."

                    The Pfizer vaccine was in phase 3 clinical trials in November 2020, and was authorised for use in the UK in December 2020. We took another 6-8 weeks to place an order, and then for only enough vaccine to cover 0.5% of the population.

                    • KJT

                      So. Medsafe should have instantly assessed the safety of the Phizer vaccine?

                      And. The Government should have instantly known which was the best of several competing vaccines to order?

                      And. Made sure that Phizer, who was supplying dozens of countries at the time, had enough to instantly supply NZ. Who couldn't have met the requirements to store it anyway.

                      And. We had the freezers, vaccinators, and other infrastructure ready instantly!

                      People who expect that, either have had no experience of planning and implementing large projects. Or, they know full well, but are prepared to bullshit about it to score political points.

                      That is as daft as the people who want “Freedom day” like Boris.

    • Ad 10.2

      Could any government be reasonably expected to prepare for Delta?

      All kinds of governments have been beset by it; strong-large-state, strong-rich-state, small-rich-state, small-developing-state, weak-poor-large state, etc.

      Ours is a small-disaggregated-rich-state, and the metrics are all there on the main aggregator sites. New Zealand, one of the least-equal, most structurally disaggregated, least regulated states ordinarily … and yet where would you rather be?

      The metrics are pretty uneven for all different kinds of state in deaths-per-1000 people, infection-per-1000 people, GDP loss …

      … it's all over the show.

      • Gypsy 10.2.1

        It's a question of degrees. We live in one of the easiest countries in the world to manage a pandemic (defined and controlled borders, low density population etc). We responded well to Covid v1, but we had plenty of warning about Delta, and yet on two critical issues (vaxx rates and the health systems ability to respond) our response hasn't been good enough.

    • Andre 10.3

      Y'know, I'm really more interested in what the government is going to do in the future then examining the minutiae of what led to the situation we're now in. That the government appears weeks late and many laws and policies short of what's needed is what's feeding my growing anger at the government.

      For what it's worth, I actually think the government did a very good job up until about six weeks ago. That was the point at which it became obvious that falling vaccination rates because of hesitants were going to be a serious obstacle to a high vaccination rate.

      Since that point, even though it's been obvious some strong incentives would be needed to turn the hesitants into vaccinateds, the government has been a long long way behind in its moves to incentivise people to get vaccinated.

      • Gypsy 10.3.1

        Interesting. What sort of incentives do you think would be effective?

        • Andre 10.3.1.1

          "No jab, no job" for everyone that has any kind of face-to-face contact with anyone else as part of their job. That large groups with a lot of random public contact are yet to have vaccinations mandated is a serious dereliction of duty on the government's part. Police being a particularly egregious example here, that mandate should have come months ago.

          "No jab, no entry" for all business premises where there will be face-to-face interaction with anyone else. I can grudgingly concede exempting food and healthcare businesses, but bugger-all else.

          A strong policy statement that when the health system gets overwhelmed with unvaccinated covid patients, unvaccinated covid patients will be first on the list to get triaged out. To maintain capacity to care for those that haven't deliberately chosen to be the problem.

          I'm open to hearing other suggestions on how to move the hesitants.

          • Gypsy 10.3.1.1.1

            Full disclosure – I don't support mandates. But putting that aside, is there a possibility mandates actually make vaxx hesitants' more resistant?

            • Andre 10.3.1.1.1.1

              What doesn't make hesitants more hesitant?

              Seriously, there's been no shortage if information and pointers where to go for more information. There's been no shortage of softly-softly with kindness gentle encouragement.

              There are very few options left other than those policies. Those that think there are other things yet to be tried that will be more successful within a reasonable timeframe, go ahead and say what they are and make the argument why they might work.

              • Gypsy

                "What doesn't make hesitants more hesitant?"

                Good question. Perhaps information better targeted to hesitants? A Q&A discussion line that can a) debunk myths and b) provide answers to concerns?

            • Sacha 10.3.1.1.1.2

              Mandates will sort the hesitant from the resistant.

              • Shanreagh

                Well put Sacha.

                My belief is that some of the hesitant are what I have called social covid vaccine decision makers. They have been influenced by friends and social media.

                Sort of like 'Well this is no more of a decision for me than should I get another tat or colour my hair & the dangers or downsides of doing or not doing are about equal.’ They have not done any seeking of info or ideas about consequences. Many of those who have 'done their own research have based this on spurious Farcebook and anti vax organisation claims.

                'Vaccinated people leak Covid', I don't want people leaking over me when I am giving birth – said in support of the Taranaki Midwives who are not getting vaccinated

                The mandate and the idea of actual hard personal consequences has come as a shock to some.

                The idea that your rights stop where society's rights begin, and the concept of doing this for self AND others is not well known.

                They assign malice toward them on an individual basis from 'Jacinda'.

                So mandates will help focus and hopefully these ones will get the help and support to get themselves along to be vaccinated.

              • mauī

                ..and possibly destroy people's faith in public health for several generations.

            • weka 10.3.1.1.1.3

              Full disclosure – I don't support mandates. But putting that aside, is there a possibility mandates actually make vaxx hesitants' more resistant?

              yes, some. There will be those that are now radicalising to full on anti-vax. Can't do much about that. The mandates are unfortunate, and were probably preventable, but this is how Labour rolls. The big issue now is whether they are permanent, and whether Labour will shift the social and cultural norm in NZ towards more authoritarianism. And whether the left will do anything about that, or leave it to the libertarians.

              • Gypsy

                Well said. My view is this particular Labour government (contrasting previous ones) do have an authoritarian bent (as evidenced in their approach to issues such as 3 Waters), and will only back down when presented with electoral harm (as happened with the ill-fated cycle bridge proposal in Auckland). The problem is that the main party of opposition is in the same state Labour itself was in for much of the period of the last national government – i.e. unelectable.

                • weka

                  that's not really a problem, because while Labour are doing the Boss thing, National under Key were outright proto-fascist. Long may they languish.

                  The problem is lefties thinking that Labour are the only option. We have a left wing party in the Greens.

                  • Gypsy

                    We still have a significant portion of the population who are tribal labour or national. The younger ones, not so much.

      • Nic the NZer 10.3.2

        This new falling vaccination rate seems like a real problem. Are you saying there is a way people are going back to unvaccinated again? And this was discovered about 6 weeks ago you say.

  11. Stephen D 11

    In total agreement MS.

    I am really struggling to understand where the whole anti-covid vax thing came from.

    It seems so focused on the Covid vaccination. Was there an anti vax movement for the polio vaccine; measels, mumps, rubella? If not why not. The whole "vaccines cause autism" is a thing I know. But that hasn't seemed to have played a major role in the covid case.

    There is many a Phd thesis waiting to be written about this. I look forward to reading the abstracts.

    • Gypsy 11.1

      Hi Stephen. There has always been a small anti-vaxx movement, particularly amongst families with young children. I've seen US studies that show around 10% of the general population and 15% of parents with young children are anti-vaxx. Much of the resistance I'm hearing and reading to the Covid vaxx is the speed with which it has been developed, but my view is that is ill-informed.

    • RedLogix 11.2

      In my view a lot of it stems from a breakdown of trust in our institutions.

      • Ad 11.2.1

        As we head to 95% in Auckland region and 90% in the rest, institutional trust would seem pretty solid.

        Reports on the doom of epistemic certainty are premature.

        • RedLogix 11.2.1.1

          The question posed was why the minority of people who are still either anti or hesitant. It’s my sense that if trust is the issue then ostracising them as stupid, anti-social or worse, merely plays into the reasons why they resisted in the first place. I would have thought this obvious.

          Nor can we know that all of those who have lined up were all that keen on it either – many would have gone ahead despite reservations or could see the various forms of coercion coming down the track at them.

          • Ad 11.2.1.1.1

            By late January 2022 with the traffic light system in full effect, we will have an idea of the % of the true resisters. Those who can't participate in Christmas or post-Christmas shopping, visit any health entity, travel other than in their own car, or interact with people other than digitally.

            There will be no shortage of news and media interviews with them, to explain where they come from and indeed how the exist.

          • Blazer 11.2.1.1.2

            I agree with you.

            I was one of the first to get dbl vaccinated ,over 6 months ago.

            At the time I was under the impression that getting vaccinated meant I would not get or transmit the virus.

      • roblogic 11.2.2

        For those interested in the psychology/ philosophy of our present zeitgeist

        A bridge to meta-rationality vs. civilizational collapse | Meta-rationality (metarationality.com)

        Postmodernism sabotages the bridge to rationality
        In the 1970s and 1980s, the best postmodern/poststructural thinkers presented meta-rational views, based on their thorough understanding of systematic rationality.1 This first generation of postmodern teachers had a complete “classical education” in the humanities; they mastered the Western intellectual tradition before coming to understand its limitations.

        Deconstructive postmodernism, their critique of stage 4 modernism/systematicity/rationality, is the basis of the contemporary university humanities curriculum. This is a disaster. The critique is largely correct; but, as Kegan observed, to teach it to young adults is harmful.2 Few university students have consolidated rationality. Essentially none are ready to move beyond it. Pointing out its defects makes their developmental task more difficult.

        You cannot understand what is wrong with rationalism until you are capable of being rational. You cannot go beyond rationality until after you can use it reliably.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.3

      Alas, antivax nonsense commenced as soon as life-saving vaccines first appeared – e.g. in the 1880s. The arguments then were similar to the arguments today.

      https://theconversation.com/covid-19-anti-vaxxers-use-the-same-arguments-from-135-years-ago-145592

    • roblogic 11.4

      There was also an anti-vax movement 100 years ago during the Spanish flu pandemic. Any society has their share of village idiots. 100 years ago they were publicly flogged. Unfortunately nowadays, thanks to social media, the idiots can all join together and form a self reinforcing critical mass of dipshittery.

    • Shanreagh 11.5

      Some people live on Facebook etc.. They have no outside influences other than those algorithmically linked to them. There are no other influences. Their access is 24/7 if they want.

      Ideas I have heard, off the top of my head…

      1 The influence of Troll farms

      https://www.heinz.cmu.edu/media/2018/October/troll-farms-and-fake-news-social-media-weaponization

      https://fortune.com/2021/07/23/russian-disinformation-campaigns-are-trying-to-sow-distrust-of-covid-vaccines-study-finds/

      https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-trolls-spread-wild-lie-covid-vax-turns-people-into-chimps

      apparently these groups insert themselves with memes into social media.

      2 the Dirty Dozen anti vaxxers

      https://www.npr.org/2021/05/13/996570855/disinformation-dozen-test-facebooks-twitters-ability-to-curb-vaccine-hoaxes

      3 lack of knowledge about how govts and institutions work, the social contract or the concept of individual rights existing in a framework of societal rights.

      4 if there is knowledge about institutions then parents or elders who have had bad experiences will have an influence

      5 Religious beliefs

      But mainly many live in bubbles of influence from social media.

  12. KSaysHi 12

    Except we are apparently missing confirmation that vaccination rates are linked with reduction in transmission.

    • roblogic 12.1

      How about not dying or becoming incredibly sick? That's a decent reason to get a shot.

      Scan, mask, jab. All part of decent social behaviour in a pandemic.

      Whereas taking no precautions because of a stupid youtube video makes you more likely to be a disease vector.

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        Martensen isn't stupid, and he has both the qualifications and experience to speak.

        In this particular video he's unpacking a paper that suggests there isn't a strong correlation between vax and case rates. The paper can be quibbled as can virtually all research, there being no such thing as perfect data.

        But overall the message is that for the moment it looks like we cannot rely on vaccines alone to control COVID. Which all kind of knew already.

        • lprent 12.1.1.1

          But overall the message is that for the moment it looks like we cannot rely on vaccines alone to control COVID. Which all kind of knew already.

          At least not the current vaccines. But that was obvious from the start. It was always highly unlikely.

          They managed to get vaccines out and in startup production from a nearly standing start in about a year. The focus since then has been to ramp production.

          Globally we simply don't have the data base yet to know what exactly to target in vaccines to prevent a virus foothold – ie a 'sterilising' vaccine. Bearing in mind it is has mainly been a respiratory site for the main foothold infection, we may never get one.

          Offhand I can't think of a mainly respiratory infection site virus that has ever been held under control by just a vaccine.

          Influenza – well there is a reason why I have to get jabbed every year.
          Pneumonia has a vaccine – but mostly it is handled by treatments. And the vaccine just decreases severity.
          Whooping cough – bacterial. Vaccine reduces severity and it is mainly controlled by treatments.
          TB – same thing – plus tracking disease populations like possums.
          Covid-19 just joined that list.

          Respiratory vaccines reduce severity, hospital time, and deaths – but seldom get close to eradication. Treatments and control of vectors are usually what controls reduces the incidence in the population and having to take societal measure like quarantines, reduced group sizes and masks off the table..

        • Drowsy M. Kram 12.1.1.2

          In this particular video he's [Martensen] unpacking a paper that suggests there isn't a strong correlation between vax and case rates.

          The authors of that paper actually claim that there is no association between vax and case rates – in fact if anything there is a negative correlation.

          In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.

          Think about that.

          The paper can be quibbled as can virtually all research, there being no such thing as perfect data.

          It certainly can and has been ‘quibbled’ with:

          Vaccination rates and COVID-19 cases: a commentary of
          “Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States.”

          The manuscript from Subramanian and Kumar shows a lack of vaccine efficacy on Covid Incidence. However, this paper suffers major pitfalls : inadequate outcome, lack of confounding factors, inadequate time period (7 days), inclusion/exclusion criteria not respected, causal inference from inappropriate data, and erroneous interpretation of the data. We comment on these issues in detail and show that Subramanian and Kumar’s paper is flawed and misleading.

          Again, this seems to me to be a clear case of seeing what one wants to see – we've all done it, Martensen included. I'd go so far as to suggest that intelligence is no guarantee of objectivity.

          There is of course no quibbling with idea that there is no such thing as perfect data; this particularly applies to data gathered from large natural populations.

          Nevertheless, given a sufficient quantity of only moderately imperfect data, and the appropriate analyses, trends, associations and correlations may become clear.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 12.1.1.3

          Whoops – "in fact if anything there is a negative positive correlation association."

      • KSaysHi 12.1.2

        Sounds like you didn't watch.
        Not everyone is well versed in reading research, but Chris is.

    • KJT 12.2

      Umm. Bollocks.

      I posted a link within the last couple of days of a well done study that confirmed vaccination reduced both severity and transmission.

      Decreased infectivity following BNT162b2 vaccination: A prospective cohort study in Israel – The Lancet Regional Health – Europe

      It is one of many.

      Of course if you want to get your information from Youtube, instead of the actual research…………..

      • roblogic 12.2.1

        To be fair the BMJ came out with a (draft) paper suggesting that vaccines don't seem to be slowing the spread of Covid. (which doesn't make sense to me either). https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n2074

        • KJT 12.2.1.1

          In the UK, etc, it seems that loosening up other public health measures is, at least partly, negating the effects of their vaccination programs.

          "Freedom" days!

          The dangers of “opening up” to early in their vaccination programs.

          Population studies are starting to look at that.

          We may have our own real life one here, shortly.

      • mauī 12.2.2

        One major flaw in that study is that no mention of Delta is made. The study was mostly done through Israel's winter, Delta first arrived there later in their summer.

  13. Sabine 13

    So there will be a mandate for ALL public service workers to be vaccinated or else they can no longer be working public facing or worse face losing their jobs?

    And when will that mandate be announced? And when will all these public service workers – govt employees – be expected to show proof of their vaccination status?

    And what will happen if they decide not to vaccinate? Will the govt accept their resignations?

    And what will happen to those that have been vaccinated, but are now at the end of the 6 month period and need booster shots? Will they be considered unvaccinated? Somewhat vaccinated? Vaccinated?

    And at what stage will someone who can't get a timely boostershot be discriminated against on the accounts of 'not being vaccinated' and thus run foul of the mandate?

    • Herodotus 13.1

      What about the Vaccine effectiveness reducing over time drops over time potentially 50% of protection of infection and the NZ modelling has a scenario of this refer below "Vaccine effectiveness parameters chosen to reflect estimates of the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine after 2 doses". Some of our elderly and essential workers will be approaching their 6month anniversary and the freedoms will be granted to them, I hope that there will be communication that there is an increase in some risks to the individual and the general public over time. On page 3 of the modelling gives their parameters of what reduced effectiveness over time covers as there are various categories infection, transmission etc

      https://cpb-ap-se2.wpmucdn.com/blogs.auckland.ac.nz/dist/d/75/files/2017/01/modelling-to-support-a-future-covid-19-strategy.pdf

      "We don’t yet know how long you’ll be protected but will continue to review data as it becomes available."

      https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-effectiveness-and-protection#how-long

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        that is not the point i am trying to make, i am not talking about the actual level of protection provided by vaccinations, i am talking about when we consider people to be fully vaccinated, and that will then include boosters.

        double vaxxed is considered vaccinated

        single vaxxed is considered not fully vaccinated ergo not vaccinated

        double vaxxed + 6 month time lapsed + boostershot is considered vaxxed

        double vaxxed + 6 month time lapsed – no booster shot for what ever reason, are you still considered vaccinated by the number crunchers of government and if not, what are the repercussions? What if you can't get a booster because not enough vaccines in the country etc. How will that affect your 'passport' and your vaccine status?

        • Herodotus 13.1.1.1

          I edited my comment but kept "what about"in error, should have commenced with "The Vaccine …"I was supporting your comment adding in my bit about having a jab and a passport does not cary the same protection as 2 weeks post 2nd jab. The govts planning and passport should IMO have included the issue that you have raised and has been also incorporated onto modelling that the govt uses. We appear to be reacting and the ONLY weapon is 2 jabs and our ONLY focus is 90% of All DHB's which has its short coming regarding diminished efficiency that are not being addressed.

        • georgecom 13.1.1.2

          the link between vaccination and transmission seems not to be linear. Perhaps a better way to think about it is degrees of immunity (I might be using a simplistic definition of immunity here). Fully immune and immune to the worst effects of the virus. The basic premise of a vaccine is that it protects you from the worst excesses of a virus, keeps you out of hospital or out of a coffin. Building on that, immunity from spreading the virus or minimising the spread, and best of all immunity from catching the virus.

          Pfizer appears to do all of those pretty well for a number of months, however it's performance in the latter 2 – catching and spreading – appear to wane over time. Compare that with the Sinovac vaccine, which has been widely applied in developing and undeveloped countries, it also does a good job of keeping people out of hospital and coffins, but has a protection rate (measured against the original Wuhan variant) against contracting or spreading the virus somewhere between 50-60%, versus Pfizers 90%.

          There is also 'natural immunity' which develops after contracting the virus without vaccination. Such immunity varies from person to person and seems to be a somewhat variable process, some people have good immunity, other very minimal. It's also a risky process to take to get immunity, will you survive, will you get really sick etc, versus getting a vaccine which is comparably pretty pain and risk free.

          As for boosters, my understanding is those cement in antibody levels which help protect us from catching and spreading a virus. Irrespective of boosters we have memory cells in our body which will quickly respond to a virus and stop it replicating, reducing transmissibility, or severely weaken it thus minimising our chances of getting really ill. So longer term a vaccine does provide very good base layers of protection. We can get a booster from a vaccine, we also get a booster if we contract a virus and recover from it. Thus a low level infection acts as a booster to our immune system. Covid circulating through a vaccinated population ironically works to increase immunity.

          • Sabine 13.1.1.2.1

            The actual immunity provided by the jabs is a different issue to what in the future will be considered a fully vaccinated human being.

            so look at my scenario and understand that the immunity provided is not part of it, but only the burocratic approach to a vaccine passport and what in a theoretical sense would be considered a fully vaccinated person and what would be someone who say is 'no longer vaccinated' before they become an Anti vaxxer who is holding up our freedoms, and what if……

            • georgecom 13.1.1.2.1.1

              yes, there is not a straight linear correlation it seems between being fully vaccinated and immunity levels. It will vary for person to person. You can make extrapolations at a population level, far harder for individuals. A person with 2 pfizer jabs 3 years ago will have some protection from dying of Covid but may not be protected from catching the virus. Someone with 2 pfizer jabs 3 months ago will have good protection for both. Someone with 2 pfizer jabs 2 years ago, and who just recovered from a mild bout of the virus might have equally god protection against both. Double vaxed is bottom line about protecting our health system from overload.

        • Nic the NZer 13.1.1.3

          You seem to be repeating your favourite thinking patterns in other contexts, Sabine.

          Herodotus is suggesting that vaccination status is a spectrum. So smash the binary, you don't need to be unvaccinated, you just identify your naturally immune instead. And if you happened to get two jabs on the same day your going to be welcome to proudly join a parade to display the fact very soon.

          • Shanreagh 13.1.1.3.1

            I don't understand this. To have natural immunity you need to have had the virus. In view of the widely different responses that people have this seems to be a a risky option.

            The vaccine gives you an immunity without having to actually have covid.

            The research I have read going back to last year was that the immunity built up by the virus last year was not long lasting. The immunity from the vaccines is also not long lasting.

            This year I am reading that natural immunity built up from Delta is longer lasting and stronger but boy what a risk you take exposing yourself to the virus unprotected.

            Researchers are pondering now about how often we have boosters and some have said that while the people who have caught and recovered from Covid Delta this time round will have protection they should be thinking of vaccinations/boosters 6 -12 months from their infection. Some in the States have been so horrified by the whole Covid experience, intubation, ICU that they are opting to be vaccinated as soon as they leave hospital and get a clearance.

            If we need a vaccination with two shots then we will get a passport. They are finding that the immunity will wane in the last 3-6 months of the expected year and that a booster will be required. Then next year perhaps another.

            If the cards are electronic then it wouldn't seem, to me, to be very hard to put in an expiry date as they do in credit cards and you might go to scan in and 'oops' your card is refused.

            Time for a booster. In practice I think they will have a warning system on what to do to ensure your card is up to date.

    • Craig Hall 13.2

      I'm expecting a wider mandate for the public service at some point. Too late to easily include it in the current mandates (15 November/1 January), but I could see 15 December/1 February.

      • Sabine 13.2.1

        so coppers can have till next year but hairdressers. lol

        that colander effect is gonna be awesome with this mandate.

        • Craig Hall 13.2.1.1

          Individual government departments can mandate earlier than an order, and hairdressers are only required to get vaccinated if they also require vaccine certificates of customers – they don't have to do either, in which case stronger restrictions apply to them in Orange and Red.

          • Andre 13.2.1.1.1

            Where I go for my No. 6 all over is mostly staffed by south asians. Asians as a group are as near as dammit 100% first dose and 90% second dose. So all the more reason to continue going there.

            edit: come to think of it, that’s also all the more reason to choose Indian takeaways and kebabs and Thai, instead of hipster organic wraps.

            • roblogic 13.2.1.1.1.1

              got sick of the 9 week lockdown mop and gave myself a number 2 all over. self-esteem restored!

              destroyed some cheap clippers in the process

  14. chris T 14

    One of the few times I have agreed with Collins

  15. Sacha 15

    Richard Harman notes the disunity in the Nat caucus about this (not paywalled): https://www.politik.co.nz/nationals-nod-to-the-anti-vaxers/

    National, on the other hand, appeared to be picking up and running with ideas from the anti-vax campaign.

    After a weekend of social media posts from some of National’s conservative right-wing MPs, the party caucus agreed yesterday to support mandatory vaccinations only up to the point where 90 per cent of New Zealand was vaccinated.

    The conservative MPs — and Judith Collins — accused Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of trying to use mandatory vaccinations to split New Zealand in two; the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

    But in the House, yesterday afternoon during Question Time, National’s Covid 19 spokesperson, Chris Bishop, took a different line.

    • observer 15.1

      Good summary by Harman there.

      The previous National position was Bishop's, and quite effective in appealing to swing voters (in short, "why aren't more people vaccinated?"). Now they have a bunch of MPs undermining that, including the leader.

      It makes no political sense for National to appeal to a small minority of voters, but they're doing it anyway. A reminder that the leader is a short-term problem, but caucus is the long-term problem.

      • Sacha 15.1.1

        And their party board and president who keep selecting duff candidates is the root of that dysfunction.

      • georgecom 15.1.2

        It makes no political sense for National to appeal to a small minority of voters

        Probably makes some sense if you consider that National are fast becoming a small minority party with a small minority leader.

  16. Brendan 16

    Nat voter here.

    Agree fully with vax mandates. Jab, Jab or no job – sorry.

    Disagree with Judith over lifting them at 90% plus.

    • roblogic 16.1

      Very hard to support National recently as nobody knows what their actual policies are, and they change every other day.

      Delta and other strains of Covid are like a wildfire. High vaccination rates are like a firebreak, to stop it spreading out of control. It would be madness to end the vaccine mandate when the fire is still raging around the world.

  17. Cricklewood 17

    What do you propose we do with the likely 300000+ we are going to exclude from society?

    Forget about them?

  18. Kiwicatlover 18

    I'm going to take a contrarian stance and argue that these steps are NOT warranted, on the information that has been presented so far. I've been paying attention to this and as far as I can tell no-one has put forward a proper reasoned justification for coerced vaccination / disclosure of vaccine status . So far the argument seems to be one of fear and "trust us" from the powers that be.

    Now we all know that Covid is bad and presents a threat to individuals and society. But so are a lot of other things in society, such as smoking, alcohol, driving, boating etc. The questions are what is the degree of threat, is it enough to justify infringing civil rights/liberties and if so, what is the minimum level of infringement justified to manage the threat?

    Take vaccine passports. The idea is to deny entry into social situations based on the difference in threat posed between vaccinated and the unvaccinated. So what is that difference in threat and is it sufficient to justify such restrictions, given that the vaccinated can still be infectious? Lots of people seem to think so, but where are the numbers? I've not seen any.

    So I've tried putting some together. From a recent <a href=” https://www.gov.uk/government/news/react-study-shows-fully-vaccinated-are-three-times-less-likely-to-be-infected ”>UK report</a> , covid prevalence in the midst of an outbreak is 0.63% of the population, 1.21% among unvaccinated and 3 times less at 0.4% among vaccinated). I derived a similar number of 0.62% in a more roundabout fashion from New South Wales in the current outbreak, so the numbers seem credible, and could arguably be used for NZ if an outbreak grows big enough. Given that people are infectious before symptoms then no asymptomatic discounting is needed.

    A passport scheme is arguing that the 0.4% threat of infectious vaccinated is an acceptable risk, but the increase of 0.8% to 1.2% for unvaccinated is so dire that it warrants banning the unvaccinated. Or even taking away their career. To protect vaccinated people for whom the risk is now greatly reduced. Is it just me that finds that logic unconvincing?

  19. Sacha 19

    Why the delay in mandating police?

    • roblogic 19.1

      Reminds me of Jen Psaki (White House press secretary) embarrassing a Fox News reporter with the hard truth that the #1 killer of US police is now Covid.

    • Andre 19.2

      The police first dose vaccination rate stated in the article at 83% is significantly behind today's national first dose rate of 87%.

      Make of that what you will.

    • Cricklewood 19.3

      Because we cant afford to 2-3 percent of them or support staff.

      • Andre 19.3.1

        More like a quick way to weed out some of the cops that don't believe in public safety or community values.

  20. Sacha 20

    ‘Clarifies’

  21. Correlation is very different from causation.

    Correlation is found by prospectors mining statistics.

    Prospectors have ambitious hopes.

    Media people love correlations, they are a source of headlines and attention.

    Facts are decided by hard nosed sceptics, knowledgeable about what they are talking about and prepared to vigorously debate the topic with their peers.

  22. Sacha 22

    Stuff journo cites study about mandates reducing resistance.

    • weka 22.1

      good grief, this isn't hard to understand: vax hesitant people will respond to mandates by getting vacinnated because they don't want to lose their jobs or access to the pub.

      THIS IS WHY THE GOVERNMENT IS MANDATING. Because it works.

      (sorry for shouting, but honestly, after 18 months, why are we still so poor at understanding the range of reasons that people don't vaccinate?)

      There will be a smaller part of the population who radicalise to being hard anti-vax because of their concerns about government overreach and authoritarianism. They might be wrong about the vax mandates, but they're not wrong about the shift in powers for government. We should all be concerned about that.

      This smaller group probably won't make much difference to the current vax programme and getting to 90%, but longer term they may radicalise around other more problematic politics. Whether this becomes a problem for NZ, we will see I guess. We should pay attention though and stop ridiculing and ostracising people, because if they do get some kind of power, that's the worst kind of power to have (ostracised and resentful).

      Maybe they will be successfully suppressed and we will be left with a government that has shifted the Overton Window on government powers, and a left that basically said, oh ok, this is good and necessary. Nek minit, NACT are in power. Unhappy days.

    • Rosemary McDonald 22.2

      Stuff journo cites study….

      This in itself is newsworthy.

  23. Sacha 23

    A Waikato University academic analyses the fundamentalist christian underpinnings of resistance: https://theconversation.com/spirit-of-resistance-why-destiny-church-and-other-new-zealand-pentecostalists-oppose-lockdowns-and-vaccination-170193

    Aotearoa New Zealand is just one of many places Pentecostalism is flourishing. As well as the more prominent churches such as Destiny, City Impact, the Assemblies of God (AOG) and Elim, a host of smaller congregations exist throughout the country.

    Pentecostals have been at the forefront of legal pushbacks against gathering restrictions and insisted only the second coming of Christ would force churches to close their doors.

    The Pentecostal vocabulary is not one of ritual, liturgy or structure, but of ecstasy, surprise, miracles and wonder.

    From this standpoint, any stricture, rule or earthly imposition that impedes a life in the Spirit is, by default, suspect and anathema. This sets up an overall opposition between the spiritual and the worldly that helps define the difference between good and evil or God and Satan.

    • roblogic 23.1

      Agree with all the critiques in that article. Tamaki is a particularly bad example. But not all Pentecostal churches are like that.

      The key insight of Pentecostalism is emphasis on spiritual matters that other churches find "icky", preferring to work on social reforms. But these things have always been present. The Catholics even have an exorcism ministry!

      Much of the New Testament teaches spiritual formation and collective rituals such as worship, prayer, water baptism, and baptism in the Holy Spirit. A common thread of the bible, from ancient times, was that the people would "know God".

      For me, Pentecostalism has been a mixed bag. Personal revelations of divine love have been a profound experience. But there are also occasions where the church has not lived up to its primary directive, from Jesus himself, to love one another. I Corinthians 13:

      If I speak in the tongue of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

      Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

      Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

    • roblogic 23.2

      Need to add though, that while I appreciate and love the church community, most of their politics and anti science stance drives me nuts. Bible colleges such as Laidlaw do a good job helping people out of the fundamentalist mindset, but it requires a bit of independent thinking and self awareness, that many do not care for.

      It is a lot easier to get simple black-and-white answers from American Evangelicals who teach rubbish like young-earth creationism, apocalyptic conspiracies, naive biblical literalism, Trumpism, dominionism, the Prosperity gospel, and of course their latest idiot offspring: the anti-vaxx movement.

  24. Ad 24

    87.5% eligible first dose, 73.2% eligible second dose.

    Waitemata and Auckland over 90% first dose.

    Counties Manukau with 7,707 people to go to 90% first dose.

    Looks like 90% Auckland region for second dose for third week of November on track.

    • Andre 24.1

      It's 90% in each of the three Auckland DHB before we go to the traffic light system. Not the region as a whole.

      Counties Manukau probably won't reach 90% first doses until second week of November, on current daily rates of new first doses allowing for a bit more drop-off. So that's first week of December absolute earliest before those can get their second dose and we get the traffic light system. More likely second or third week of December, though.

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