Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently described at least 90 percent of the country’s vaccinations as a “golden ticket”, which would mean no or fewer restrictive lockdowns going forward. Claire Trevet of the New Zealand Herald sits down to discuss what a vaccination rate of over 90 percent for New Zealand might look like. Video / Mark Mitchell
A survey has shown strong support to keep borders closed until at least 90 percent of people are vaccinated as the problem escalates and Sir John enters the debate,
A date has to be fixed.
Polls conducted by Talbot Mills Research (formerly UMR) showed that nearly two-thirds did not believe the borders should be relaxed until New Zealand achieved a vaccination rate of at least 90%.
This was met with much more support than the option of opening the borders, as everyone had a fair chance to be vaccinated, regardless of the overall rate – an option favored by 26%.
Support for the over 90 percent limit was particularly high among Labor and Green supporters (70 to 72 percent support) – but nearly 60 percent of National and ACT supporters supported it as well.
The government has so far refused to set a specific limit or date on which it will ease border restrictions, but has pledged to try measures such as home isolation as part of its roadmap this year.
1,050 people aged 18 and over were interviewed from August 31 to September 6 – the third week of the lockdown triggered by the Delta epidemic. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent,
The NZ Herald has partnered with Talbot Mills Research to vote on vaccinations as part of the 90% project to help monitor public opinion over the coming months.
Talbot Mills said that while support for a more cautious approach to borders was overwhelming, the border debate was still in the early stages of the “big call” to be launched by the end of this year or year. next.
Although the survey warned against opening borders before 90%, there was some support to facilitate the passage of vaccinated travelers to previously protected countries – in addition to the standard 14 days in the MIQ.
Sixty-two percent supported a reduced quarantine combined with testing on vaccinated travelers from safe countries, while 56 percent supported the possibility of home quarantine rather than vaccinating New Zealand’s MIQ . There was less enthusiasm, but still around 50 percent support, for allowing companies to organize their own segregation for workers.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Key joined the debate in an opinion piece yesterday, calling on the government to set a date for the borders to reopen “and shortly” after people have had a fair chance to vaccinate Was.
COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins hit back at Key’s description of New Zealand as a ‘sufficient hermit kingdom’, but did not say what would trigger the end of use of the lockdown or reopening from the border.
Hipkins said that even if the vaccination rate reaches 90 percent, it may not be enough if certain demographics are not well covered.
The government is working on a new plan for the highly vaccinated population, which is expected in the coming weeks.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that trials of measures such as home isolation will continue this year, as planned in the roadmap for the reopening.
This week, National Vaccination is expected to release its deployment and reopening plan, including a target that it says could reopen the borders.
ACT chief David Seymour said he believed a date should be given when the borders would reopen and people could make their own choices to get vaccinated before that date.
“You need incentives on the person. If you say “we’re going to open up, and there’s a high risk that you will get covid and have side effects,” then more people will need to be vaccinated.
Te Punaha Matatini researcher Professor Shawn Hendy said it was reassuring people were prepared to stay the course given uncertainty about the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing transmission.
“I think given the ease with which Delta affects healthcare systems, this is probably the best approach. “
He said it’s possible that the patience waned as more people were vaccinated and wanted to see the benefits.
“It’s human nature. The conversation will change, no doubt. But we are in a situation that allows us to see what is happening in other parts of the world.
He said that the experience of opening up other countries will affect the attitude of the public. Countries like Denmark, Norway and the UK are easing restrictions, and if their cases don’t swell, it could affect opinions in New Zealand.
Hendy said that over the next few months, data from overseas will be used to update existing modeling – and may provide more certainty than current data can provide.
The September poll also showed that Delta’s outbreak was having an impact on people’s attitudes towards vaccination – including a significant increase in the number of people willing to be vaccinated compared to before the outbreak.
Those who said they were ready or had already been vaccinated fell from 80% to 82% in the three months before 89% in September – 90 described by Chief Health Officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield as “critical. for the mission ”. Just a little less than a percentage. .
The survey showed that the reluctance fell from 16% to 10% – those who said they probably would not or definitely not get vaccinated.
Only 5% now said they definitely would not get vaccinated, up from 7% in June.
The September results showed that the main reason for vaccine reluctance was concern about side effects (35 percent). Fifteen percent said it was because they didn’t trust it or were anti-vaccination. For 15%, it was apathy: they were too lazy or didn’t think they needed it.
Nine percent cited health status.
If that desire translates into injections, the country could reach the over 90% rate that Bloomfield describes as “mission critical.”
As of Sunday, 76% of eligible people had received at least one dose, or about two-thirds of the entire population. Children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated.
Forty-one percent were now fully immunized, or one-third of the total population.
However, after the lockdown surged, the number of people taking their first dose declined.
When asked how to get the extra 10-20 percent to over 90 percent, Ardern said immunization programs across the country are using innovative ways to reach people and the role of government for them. help do it. To do.