Ninety per cent target is a must
Perhaps those correspondents who question the need for the fully vaccinated against Covid to remain vigilant might ponder a couple of things.
Being vaccinated does indeed lessen the risk of becoming seriously ill but doesn't prevent anyone, however mildly affected by the virus, from spreading it to those unvaccinated around them. Also, the need to reach the 90 per cent target cover of our population before restrictions are lifted is painfully evident in those countries whose governments decided that between 75-80 per cent was sufficient.
Without exception these countries are suffering major spikes in infections, many more deaths and ever-increasing strains on health systems trying to cope.
I am fully vaccinated but am, if not delighted with our current situation, willing to accept what needs to be done for all our sakes. We need to be mindful also that another variant, AY.4.2, is now infecting people in Great Britain, so it's a constant battle trying to get ahead of these new strains and the potential implications they bring.
Nobody wants to be here but the alternatives are too dire to contemplate for our future well-being. We just have to trust those who are doing their very best to keep us all safe. Our lives are in their hands so let's support their efforts and not complain about the personal discomfort some of us are going through.
We are all in this together, we have to make the best of a bad situation. Hopefully, it won't be too much longer before everyone who can be vaccinated takes the opportunity to do so. It's still the best option we have.
Jeremy Coleman, Hillpark.
Especially in lockdown, accurate weather forecasts are extremely important not only to take exercise and get the children out of the house but for hard-pressed businesses too.
Last Thursday builders cried off a project I know of because MetService promised rain all day in central Auckland and not one drop actually fell.
This weekend past it was forecast to rain quite heavily most of Saturday and all day Sunday. The rain eventually started on Saturday at 5pm but the MetService believers who were discouraged from venturing out too far would have missed a whole day's opportunity because of this inaccuracy.
The rain came as promised on Sunday, but Monday, forecast to be wet all day, was instead, after an early shower, sunny and dry. MetService is owned and extensively funded by the taxpayer. Isn't it time its performance demonstrated value for money?
C. Johnstone, Grey Lynn.
Not about you
Whatever our Prime Minister does she will be criticised.
The anti-vaxxers require a number of different experts from a large number of different knowledge fields to speak to them individually or in small groups before they might consider getting vaccinated.
Most seem unable to grasp that what they think individually about freedom, magnets, or whatever, must come second to the freedom and good of the whole.
Time is running out. This small minority is holding the rest of our health and well-being as a society to ransom. Businesses and livelihoods are being crushed by these people who refuse the jab, now we know for sure it is effective in controlling the worst effects of Covid, like death and hospitalisation.
It's not about, "I'm gonna do what I want". It's all about, "What is best for my neighbour?" And that is what Jesus says, Brian.
Meanwhile, kudos to our PM and her team. Covid is dreadful. It needs strong containment measures. May she be applauded for so doing.
Christine Keller Smith, Northcote Point.
Put your foot down
It's about time the Government set a date for the vaccinations. We are getting fed up with the pussyfooting around the ones who don't get vaccinated.
We all have to take responsibility for our own lives. If a date is set and they do not get their vaccinations then suffer the consequences.
The whole country is being held to ransom because of these people who won't get the jabs. People are going out of business and the mental toll on people is going to be horrendous. So please Jacinda set a date and let's get on with life. We are going to have to live with this virus forever.
Mary Chapman-Hill, Bucklands Beach.
All talk and no action
Many pay lip service to the problem of climate change but do we really care or take any personal responsibility?
Our cars get bigger every year — how about a four-door ute or SUV to take the kids to school or get some groceries and then complain about the price of fuel and lack of parking.
If we ask the farmers to reduce emissions they organise an anti-government ute parade. We are even buying outdoor heaters so we can sit in the garden in winter. If money is spent on cycle tracks, bus lanes or railways the road lobby groups have a fit.
We send a representative to Glasgow for the most important conference of the decade and people complain that the MIQ spot should be used instead for someone perhaps coming here for their summer holiday.
Vince West, Milford.
Forced to repeat history
We know that the preparation in New Zealand for the Delta variant of Covid was poor with insufficient people being vaccinated and insufficient upgrading of hospitals to deal with an increase in cases.
And this despite the Delta variant being present worldwide and only a matter of time before it got to NZ.
A glance into history should have warned our leaders that pandemics tend to have an initial surge followed by a stronger second wave.
Wellington is well endowed with politicians and civil servants with liberal arts degrees so one would have thought that a glance into history would have told them that the elimination we had achieved was only temporary. Unfortunately, this was not the case so we are now in another lockdown which was totally preventable if only the civil servants and Government had recalled that adage: "Those who ignore history are forced to repeat it".
Trevor Stevens, Pukekohe.
Too much showboating
I feel we are being set up for failure with the Government's over-ambitious target of 90 per cent fully vaccinated.
What got me thinking about this was a statement by MP Shane Reti, an experienced Northland GP. He was interviewed after a stint vaccinating on the front line in Northland and he said that 11 per cent of Northland parents had opted out of their child vaccination programmes, presumably making them committed anti-vaxxers.
Northland's rate wasn't the worst — it was number three down the list, so there are areas in NZ where more than 11 per cent of adults have already opted out of vaccinations for their kids.
If they are going to carry this into Covid we are in big trouble because you then have to add the hesitant vaxxers to that total.
We are going to be struggling to get over an impossibly high hurdle and the frustration will build along with the anger directed toward the non-vaxxers.
Is this just another case of the Government using us as guinea pigs in a bid to be "best in show" to make them look good on the world stage?
Sometimes setting high targets is a good thing but not when so much rides on it and failure can be both demoralising and divisive.
Geoff Minchin, Kawakawa.
What's the alternative?
For those who do not believe in the current vaccination programme because the vaccines are not appropriate, can they give us an alternative?
I'm sure these people don't want their families and friends to get sick or die, so what are they recommending instead?
There must be an alternative. I am anxious to know so we can all have something positive to look forward to.
Lorna Clauson, Papakura.
Like a broken record, Professor Jane Kelsey (NZ Herald, October 25) rails against New Zealand's free-trade agreement with the UK.
She loses credibility in suggesting this will continue our own record of the warranting of unsafe vehicles, building leaky buildings and unsafe work practices.
Boris Johnson will not try to blame New Zealand if his plumber connects the hot water to the cold tap.
Stewart Hawkins, St Heliers.
Short & sweet
Some of your correspondents are critical of former cabinet ministers having negative views on the direction of the Government. John Key, Michael Bassett, Steven Joyce, Richard Prebble should be heeded. All have experience and wisdom — attributes very much missing in the current government. Peter Hawley, Havelock North.
The 90 per cent threshold before relaxing lockdown controls has more to do with the time to introduce digital vaccination certificates than health considerations. Mark my words, once issuance commences the 90 per cent will be revisited and relaxed, probably with a statement the health experts concur. Tony Blair was the master of spin and guess who worked for him? John Harmsworth, Warkworth.
A number of people have expressed concern about the erosion of civil liberties under this government, and the increasingly whimsical and autocratic way decisions are made. In the absence of a constitution, an upper house, or functioning Opposition, who now wants a longer parliamentary term? R Porteous, Balmoral.
We are not a team of 5 million. There is the double-vaccinated team who want to play a good clean game, another team who don't want to play nicely and a third team who might play if there is an incentive. M Taylor, Hamilton.
The Premium Debate
It looks like UK's Plan B is our green traffic-light setting. The lesson is that the situation will continue to change and that you need to adapt. The combination of waning immunity and new variants will keep testing the plans and settings. Not sure hitting 90 per cent means a similar outcome will be avoided with open borders. Matt B.
The interminable belief by some that once vaccination rates reach a certain percentage economies can open up and countries can move back to some form of normality is pie in the sky. We are in a worldwide pandemic and it clearly needs to be continually managed by governments. Craig W.
Looking at Singapore and UK — two good examples of highly vaccinated countries moving on and "living with Covid" — it almost seems it's not all sunshine and roses. Matthew H.
The virus doesn't care for plans. Let's see what happens in the UK in the depth of winter. The next five months will be interesting. It'll be a good road map for others, however it turns out. Marcus H.
At least the UK is treating its people as adults ... Summer is arriving and we are locked up like naughty children. Alan S.
The UK Government is not treating people as adults — lab rats would be closer to the truth. Around 50,000 deaths in a 12-month period at the current rate. And you think that an overseas jaunt is worth that? I don't. Harry M.