Mike's Minute: Are we really okay with the slow vaccine rollout?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 3 May 2021, 10:14AM

Mike's Minute: Are we really okay with the slow vaccine rollout?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 3 May 2021, 10:14AM

The risks of the government speaking on your or our behalf was on display last week when Grant Robertson featured in a global webinar hosted by the ratings agency Fitch.

He claims, and this is the danger, that we “understand” why we had to take a back seat when it has come to the vaccine rollout.

Because we took a “different” approach, we don’t need to hurry through the jab process unlike other countries. Sorry, Grant, we don't understand.

Obviously, some do and some, maybe many, agree, but a lot don’t.

By taking the approach we have, elimination, we have managed to do better than a lot of countries. But, yet again, let us not forget our geographic advantage is not to be underestimated. We closed a door, not hard, most countries don’t have the same luxury.

But that approach has also come at a cost. We've locked down unnecessarily because we panicked everytime we had a case or a handful of cases, we didn’t track and trace properly, and we have been and still are sloppy around the border.

The answer here, as it is in all countries, is the vaccine. It's the key to normality. Our desire and need for that normalcy is as strong as anywhere else.

So no, we don’t all understand at all.

It's not dissimilar to the fraud that was the team of five million. There was never such a team, not all are, or ever were, on board at all. And as time has passed it's become more and more evident the size of the team is shrinking rapidly.

It's also becoming clearer that either the government got stiffed on the vaccine deal, or they deliberately set out to be slow, or maybe a combination of the two. We've never seen the deal we struck, and probably for good reason.

We were told, of course, we were at the head of the queue, clearly not true. Then we were told there was no rush, not true. Now it appears through Robertson's explanation, they never really had any intention of pushing hard on our behalf to get on with it.

Other countries, Israel being a very solid example. They had no great need to hurry, but they did, indeed, hurry. And as the headline said last week, they're partying like it's 2019. Singapore, a country who took a risk minimisation approach as opposed to our elimination approach, is now globally recognised as the best at handling Covid.

We are, sadly, now at the stage where the initial gains from closing our border are shrinking. Our economy is stagnant, if not retreating. There is no real vaccine rollout. The world is now, or on the verge of, moving, travelling, holidaying, spending, and opening. But none of its happening here.

And yet according to Robertson, we understand.

Bollocks.