Group to advise govt on post-vaccination future

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. Image: RNZ.

The government has set up a public health advisory group up to provide advice and on any crucial Covid-19 decisions, including the ongoing vaccine rollout and any changes at the border.

One of its first tasks will be to advise on a vaccine target.

The six person group will be headed by epidemiologist Professor Sir David Skegg, and will be in place until mid next year.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says having the group is to ensure future decisions are "informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice".

This will include looking at how much of the population needs to be vaccinated before border settings van be relaxed, evidence for transmission blocking properties of the vaccine, strategic public health controls when the borders reopen and public health responses to any new variants that aren’t covered by current vaccine options.

“New Zealand has worked towards an elimination strategy which has been successful in keeping our people safe and our economy in good shape,” says Hipkins.

“The next phase of the pandemic poses significant challenges, including the emergence of new variants, but it also provides us with new opportunities,” he says.

Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall says, “As the COVID-19 vaccine programme ramps up in the second half of the year, the government will face a number of decisions regarding our border and public health settings.”

The Ministry of Health will support the group’s work and share any information that would be useful to them, says Verrall.

“The members will also have a public facing role. Once advice has been considered, they will need to communicate the science behind any changes to New Zealand’s border settings,” says Verrall.

The group will report to Hipkins and Verrall and work alongside Sir Brian Roche’s Covid-19 Independent Continuous Review, Improvement and Advice Group, especially around health protections post vaccine.


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Posted on 10-04-2021 14:36 | By Slim Shady

We are vaccinating at the same rate pro rata as Eswatini. Mmm, me neither. It was called Swaziland. They have virtually no cases either. It’s a 3rd World country with a poor healthcare system. Yet they are vaccinating at the same rate as New Zealand. The people running the show in New Zealand are a disgrace.


Posted on 09-04-2021 15:27 | By Slim Shady

...are they just thinking about a vaccine plan now? The UK will have vaccinated everyone by July. They are starting on kids while we have a group having meetings about it. The UK will be starting boosters in autumn (September) and we will just be “ramping up” to 10,000 jabs a day. The UK only took delivery of its first vaccines about 8 weeks before we got our first shipment. We stuck ours in the freezer for a few weeks and then started jabbing a couple of dozen a day for a few weeks. The UK hit the ground running and got “ramped up” to hundreds of thousands of jabs a day, every day, in no time. The difference is they had a plan. Their Government and Ministry of Health were thinking about this from day one. Ours just blow smoke.


Posted on 09-04-2021 15:08 | By Slim Shady

No, come on. They have a vaccination plan - it’s basically everyone from “July onwards”. Which is infinite. And with such a low bar they rejoice in telling us we are at 94% of target. Meaningless. And if I hear them say again about how we are “ramping up” “soon”, I will poke my eyes out. Just kidding, you’re right, they’re clueless.

Labour govt farce at work

Posted on 09-04-2021 08:53 | By an_alias

So Labour bumbles along with ZERO plan in place yet again. Hmmmm what can we do but create yet another WORK GROUP as we have no clue what we are doing and we need a group to blame if it GOES WRONG.

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