“The same day the Government pronounced out that ‘74 percent of currently eligible people are booked or vaccinated at least once,’ a much more telling figure emerged,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“The Prime Minister has said it does not matter when the vaccine rollout starts, but when it finishes. Well, it’s finished when everyone is double vaccinated, and the most relevant group today is those caught up in the current outbreak.
“As reported by Newshub, of 107 current cases, 14 were vaccinated once, and only three were double vaccinated. The number that matters right now, if Kiwis want to get out of lockdown, is not 74 percent. It’s three percent.
“The contrast is a good illustration of the Government’s use of spin over substance. For a long time, it preached that we are the world’s good Samaritans, going without because we don’t have COVID. Well, you don’t vaccinate because you have COVID, you vaccinate to protect yourself in the future. The future has arrived, and New Zealand has COVID because we don’t have COVID.
“The reality is that Government made big mistakes for us to get from the ‘front of the queue’ to the ‘bottom of the OECD’ and it has never levelled with New Zealanders about what they were. It probably never will.
“What happens next is crucial. We must accelerate our vaccination program. The Government needs to call Pfizer and say the plan hasn’t worked out, we need to double our deliveries. It then needs to rapidly set up vaccination facilities so that the 5,000 trained by inactive vaccinators can enter the field.
“The Government should also consider other suppliers, as Chris Hipkins has said that would be the only way to increase supply. Six weeks ago, Medsafe approved the Janssen vaccine and the Prime Minister said Cabinet would consider rolling it out. How is that going? The New Zealand Government has distributed Astra Zeneca vaccines to Pacific countries, will it consider distributing them closer to home? Moderna is the most effective outside Pfizer, and 142 million doses have been used in the United States. Is the Govenrment considering that?
“One way or another, the Government needs to recognise its responsibility for not vaccinating New Zealand. Then it needs to stop spinning, give us the facts, and start acting.”