Heather du Plessis-Allan: Jacinda, where is the vaccine?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 3 Dec 2020, 4:41PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Jacinda, where is the vaccine?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 3 Dec 2020, 4:41PM

I am not liking the sound of what I’m starting to hear coming out of the Beehive RE getting the vaccine into the arms of Kiwis. 

It sounds worryingly like the once-urgent language is disappearing and we’re now getting excuses and smokescreens.

The only question we should be asking about the vaccine  is when are we in New Zealand getting it.

And we don’t know, because it sounds like the beehive doesn’t know. And I want to know why.

Britiains’s going to get it next week. It’s just been approved for emergency use there overnight 

The US could get it in two weeks. United Airlines is flying the vaccine with chartered planes around the US to get it ready for immediate deployment as soon as their permission comes through.

Why don’t we have a date? According to the Prime Minister she has "no exact clarity on delivery dates"  

Now, I’m not complaining that we get it later than the US or the UK, but what is starting to perplex me is why we aren’t sounding sure or like we’re in a hurry any more? 

There could be any number of barriers here.  It’s possible that the government hasn’t put a date in the Pfizer contract which stipulates by when we expect to get the thing.

Or we can’t take it anyway because haven’t got the freezers to store it. Or we aren’t ready to take it because we haven’t got a roll out plan devised yet. Or Medsafe is taking too long assessing the vaccine for approval.

But there seems to have been a language shift.

In July the Ministry of Health put out a statement saying it was “working to develop an expedited regulatory approval process”.

But today, the Covid minister Chris Hipkins  is telling us emergency speed will not be used  and we have to be patient. 

I dunno about you but that doesn’t sound like the kind of urgency I would’ve expected.