Do it now
Well done to the Herald for initiating a 90 per cent vaccination target for New Zealand. This would be wonderful, if achieved. It would of course represent those who decided to "opt
in" to the programme. Sadly, however, a similar figure in a different context is already exceeded by those who enter the "opt-out" group.
Studies show that approximately 95 per cent of persons with Covid-19 in ICU units worldwide are unvaccinated. This group will no doubt include not only those who choose (for whatever reason) not to be vaccinated, but also, by default, those putting that decision into the "too hard", "too busy" or the "wait and see" baskets — or some who might simply rather be the proverbial "ostrich"!
In New Zealand, with the health system already near maximal stretch, it is very doubtful whether it would be able to cope with a tsunami of severely unwell people with Covid. Vaccination is without question the best way to prevent this worrying possibility. Lockdowns cannot last, and supplements are not a substitute.
It is reported in ICU units overseas that the relatives and loved ones of unvaccinated patients close to death commonly ask hospital staff, "can she have the vaccine now?" Clearly, the time for that decision had passed. The time to get vaccinated is indeed now.
If you are sitting on the fence, talk to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist. Please.
Dr John Kyle, Orewa
While we in Auckland strive for 90 per cent full vaccination in the hope of freedom from lockdowns over the summer, what is the rate like in the small towns where many Aucklanders spend their holidays? What was the rate of vaccination in the northern Hauraki area before it became part of Auckland lockdown for a few days?
What is the rate of vaccination in places like Whitianga, Whangamata, Mangawhai and Omaha where much of the permanent population is likely to be over 65?
We know that vaccination does not prevent people from becoming infected so are these populations prepared for an influx of Aucklanders to their holiday homes after Labour weekend?
Aucklanders spread far and wide around the country in the summer and as we know, it would only take one infected person to start an outbreak in a small town.
Christine Smith, Botany Downs
Cut us free
Looks like the PM's goal of 90 per cent vaccinated by end of the year is stalling. If those that don't want to, or are hesitant, fine, that's your prerogative as far as I am concerned. Just as it's your prerogative to smoke cigarettes and risk lung cancer and your prerogative to indulge in bad food choices and risk diabetes or obesity, it is also your prerogative to risk serious health consequences and possibly death by not being vaccinated. For the rest of us who are vaccinated, however, life will be a lot better with death pretty much avoided and hospitalisation unlikely.
So, why are we, the vaccinated, being punished when it's only the unvaccinated that have anything to lose. It's time to ditch the scare tactics and tell those, fine, have it your way, but we are moving on with our freedoms.
Tony Pope, New Plymouth
European Countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway are often touted as socialist utopias New Zealand should emulate. Given that these countries have now relaxed restrictions and scrapped Covid passports, can we please finally follow suit? They have realised that Covid passports are exclusionary, discriminatory, law-breaking, fascist nonsense and dumped them. New Zealand entertaining these immoral ideas is a sign of weakness and our country will be far worse off if we continue to appease the wants of silly people who have no idea about the consequences of such authoritarian measures.
Scott Taylor, West Auckland
When the swine flu appeared at our international airport border in 2009, initially, no one got past checkpoint Charlie. People were swabbed and isolated in a motel for a period of time. After six weeks, we had lost the battle in a sense but we continued with isolation at home of anyone who had symptoms and prophylactic medicine was delivered to people's homes while they isolated. Hand sanitising became mandatory everywhere, and the prevalence of winter ailments plummeted as a result of basic hygiene.
There were 3175 cases, with 19 deaths as a result of this outbreak. At no time did the country shut down, completely crippling the economy, and international travel continued.
The H1N1 strain was subsequently included in the mix with the annual influenza medicines schedule of immunisations and we carried on. Who was governing us and prime minister at the time you might wonder. It was National, led by John Key.
John Ford, Taradale
I was attracted to an opinion item in Saturday's Weekend Herald by its headline reference to the great US President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The item likened Jacinda Ardern's announcement on Monday, September 20 to the "fire-side radio chats" of FDR in the 1930s and 1940s. I read on. I read on.
The tone and tenor of the item was one of unbridled approbation of the PM's "masterclass" in crisis communications and commended her "adroit performance" at the post Cabinet press conference as one of "empathy and intuition". Aucklanders were "applauded" for their work in the face of the hard lockdown.
The article continued with further congratulatory appreciation of the PM and her Ministers' handling of the Covid crisis. The term "fawning" came to mind. Who could be the author of this purple prose and over-blown laudatory approval of the Government's handling of the Covid crisis? I found it was Mike Munro, former chief of staff for the PM and former chief press secretary for Helen Clark and I immediately thought well, he would say that, wouldn't he?
I had considered the Herald to be a responsible and reputable purveyor of news and political opinion but to include a patently partisan political feature of this nature by someone who was a close adviser to the present PM and her government is concerning and ill-advised. Of course, someone of Munro's political pedigree would endorse the Government's performance. Where's objectivity and balance gone?
Anthony Mercer, Howick
Defend our cup
Members of the NZ Royal Yacht Squadron are about to face a crucial decision. They need to do so collectively. They are the holders of the America's Cup, not Grant Dalton. And it is also our cup – all of the sailing researchers, designers and manufacturers; the Government which has provided infrastructure and funding for successive cup challenges; and all of the New Zealand public who have contributed money, time and passionate support. We have a stake in this decision. You cannot expect the same support from us if you turn your backs on Auckland and take the Cup defence abroad.
Rights to host the cup should not be sold for a few pieces of silver to an autocratic, human rights-abusing regime in the Middle East or that international sailing centre, Cork. Whatever happened to our ambition, and hopefully your ambition to make Auckland into a world-renowned sailing centre?
Members of the NZ Royal Yacht Squadron, take the right decision. Be assured that New Zealanders, rich and poor will again be generous in supporting the Cup defence in the sparkling waters of our beautiful Hauraki Gulf.
Barry Coates, Greenlane
Lack of respect
It is time for NZRFU to up the commitment to legends who leave life and are icons in our rugby world forever. Waka Nathan is a prime example of a man and All Black great, who deserved more than a string of plastic insulation tape as a black armband to mark All Black respect. In my eyes, it was a tacky, cheap manifestation of being ill-prepared and pretending to show empathy.
It is time for the NZRFU to have bespoke armbands made, maybe with the fern emblazoned, with the team at all times for such situations where reverence and admiration need to be acknowledged with the required dignity. All players should have one and do the Haka with it on, removing it when this ultimate mark of respect is completed.
I cannot express the intensity of my disappointment, but I rejoice in that Te Wiki o Korero Maori, galvanised my desire to act and admonish this lack of insight.
Richard Ghent, Freemans Bay
Max on stage
In all the recent obituaries and articles about the late Max Cryer, I am surprised nobody mentioned Max and the 1957 Auckland University Capping Show. This was modelled on the Oxford and Cambridge University Revues and was a very very funny and entertaining show. I am not sure whether this had been mounted in other years, but in 1957 it was written, produced, directed and performed largely by Max himself, with a small orchestra, a few other thespians and a bevy of very attractive young ladies.
I think this was the occasion on which Max was introduced to a large part of the Auckland population as he appeared in most of the sketches, and sang humorous songs written by Noel Coward and Tom Lehrer. The audiences loved it and I am sure Max became an Auckland celebrity as a result. Perhaps there are others who can fill in further detail that I may have missed.
Richard Morgan, Whangarei
Short & sweet
Further to Sir John Key's suggestions on Covid vaccination an inexpensive incentive to reach 90 per cent target would be a Lotto Powerball ticket. Peter Dodd, Chatswood.
On Key sense
No matter what your political persuasion is Sir John Key's opinion piece (NZ Herald, September 26), made a lot of sense. Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Nine years of Helen Clark, nine years of John Key, now it looks like nine years of Jacinda Ardern. It is becoming obvious the public vote for a personality, policies are secondary. Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.
Gang associates caught at the border with a bootful of KFC face charges for breaching the health order. Jane Livingstone, Remuera.
How many of the patients in hospital are being treated with the Covid virus only or because Covid has exacerbated existing conditions? And were any vaccinated? Quentin Miller, Te Atatu Sth.
Now Greta Thunberg has called out our Government for "not doing anything" to address climate change, can James Shaw explain what he and his group are doing in Scotland? Barry Watkin, Devonport.
The Premium Debate
The truly sad thing is that what John Key proposes is simple and straightforward but our government seems incapable of working it out. Christine M.
This is the voice of reason and logic, a way forward with ideas and possibilities, looking to the future with a strategy to fight and survive and continue to live without compromising our freedoms, many have lost their livelihoods since the pandemic began and so now should be the time when we start to rebuild. John Key was a true leader, we need visionaries like him to lead us into the future. Amin T.
I had forgotten what it's like to have a leader that is pragmatic, and forward and outward-looking. That attitude makes you feel hopeful for the future. Christine G.
Some good points there. Like his incentive ideas. Let's be clear though: if he'd been PM he would have probably locked down too late at the beginning, and most definitely have reopened too soon, and we would have been in a huge mess. Jason P.
Sir John's proposed incentives look a lot less costly than the current compensation for which the country is borrowing heavily. Keith H.
Seems just another desperate attempt to score points and create more fractiousness in the public on an issue knowing full well it will disappear when the country opens up in a few months when the vaccination rate reaches the required level. John T.
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