Earlier this morning Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, announced the Government had secured enough vaccines for the whole of New Zealand, and was planning to vaccinate border workers from the second quarter of 2021 with the rest of the country from mid-year.
Two new agreements have been signed for two-dose vaccines: one for 7.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will cover 3.8m people; and another for 10.72m doses of a vaccine from Novovax, enough for 5.36m people.
[NZ's population sits at just over 5 million of which approximately 1 million of us are aged under 16. So our PM has secured enough doses to vaccinate 9.16 million people with an eligible population of ~4 million...]
“This will be New Zealand’s largest immunisation roll out ever,”
New Zealand has no cases of Covid-19 within the community currently, and 43 "cases" within quarantine facilities.
[Translation 43 people in NZ have tested positive according to a highly questionable PCR test, not that these people are actually unwell with Covid or even displaying any symptoms of anything.]
New Zealand now has four pre-purchase agreements to buy vaccines - AstraZeneca, Novowax, Pfizer and Janssen.
[FYI - fun fact: none of the vaccine trials currently undertaken, or still underway, have been designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. And nor have the vaccines been studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus - see the BMJ article linked below.]
The roll out of any vaccine would be subject to a vaccine passing clinical trials, and subject to the approval of the regulator, Medsafe. However Government also said that Medsafe had been "primed to provide a streamlined approval process".
“We are moving as fast as we can, but we also want to ensure the vaccine is safe for New Zealanders,” Ardern said.
[Translation: Medsafe has been given the hard word that these vaccines are a "Go" come what may. Related to this a recent Official Information Act request for the names of the board members tasked with approving the vaccines has been rejected on grounds they may be subject to abuse - so the public has no transparency to assess any conflicts of interest these members may have.]
Ardern said vaccination would be voluntary, however take up would be "strongly encouraged by a Government campaign". “We want our entire population to be protected from Covid-19,” she said.
"Will we have enough data and evidence to say people with a vaccine don't pose a risk anymore (and are allowed to enter Covid-free New Zealand without quarantine) versus whether we won't have a risk because our population is by and large vaccinated (herd immunity)?"
[This is the creep. This is when "not mandatory" loses all meaning, such is the coercion and discrimination that is being lined up, as was ominously reported by media last week: "achieving herd immunity is being worked through by the Ministry of Health, including who gets vaccinated first, and how to handle those who refuse".]
The Government has published three scenarios for the initial roll out of the vaccine.
1. Where there’s low or zero community transmission of the virus in New Zealand, border workers and health workers at the highest risk of exposure would receive the vaccine first. As would their household contacts. High-risk health workers and high-risk public sector and emergency service workers would be next, followed by vulnerable people in the community – such as old people and those with underlying medical conditions.
2. Where clusters of the virus need to be contained, people in areas affected by an outbreak would be among the first to receive the vaccine.
3. Where there’s widespread community transmission, health and public sector workers would be prioritised above those vulnerable to the virus.
“Workforce planning to ensure we have enough vaccinators is well advanced. There are around 12,000 health professionals already able to administer vaccines and more will be trained.”
The Government also announced it would spend $75m supporting Pacific nations to vaccinate for Covid-19. “We want to make sure Pacific countries can also access suitable options, and have the support they need to run successful immunisation campaigns,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.
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