April 14, 2021
Covid shot likely to be repeated
Phase 2 of the Covid vaccination is ramping up, but there’s a warning it’s unlikely to cover every variant.
Tier 2 vaccinations include about 480,000 frontline health workers, people living in high risk settings, and older Māori and Pacific people and their carers.
Academic Rawiri Taonui, who has been tracking the pandemic, says there are now five Covid variants identified at the border.
He says the Pfizer vaccine New Zealand has chosen is less effective against the British strain, and far less effective against the South African and Brazilian strains.
"We absolutely need to get as many of our people vaccinated as possible. It will take the rest of the year to do that. By the end of the year we will need a booster shot to protect ourselves against the British, Brazilian and South African strains, We will probably need a second booster shot in 2022 because between now and the end of the year those variants are going to mutate further," he says.
Rawiri Taonui says the $30 million the government has provided will help gear up the Māori health providers, who will make a big difference in getting up the numbers of Māori vaccinated.
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