Mike's Minute: Government must crack on with Covid vaccine delivery

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Nov 2020, 9:47AM

Mike's Minute: Government must crack on with Covid vaccine delivery

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Nov 2020, 9:47AM

It seems, to me anyway, a remarkable thing the government doesn’t have more heat on it than it does over our lack of Covid vaccine.

You could conclude it's part of the malaise that’s swept the country this year. You could conclude that the media, or at least too much of it, has either fallen asleep along with the rest of the population, or as is more likely the case, it doesn’t suit their agenda to hold the government to any sort of account.

But if you're at all interested in what going on in the world, much of it has dates and times and expectations for a vaccine, and we astonishingly don’t.

The University of Texas is preparing as we speak to receive doses, as if the order was arriving this week. The FDA meets December 10 and it could ship the next day. By this Saturday week, needles could be in American arms. Same story in Britain, they know what they’ve bought, when it's being rolled out, who is top of the priority list, and how those initial jabs will be well and truly in British arms by Christmas.

Even Australia, who have bought more vaccines than us, are manufacturing at least one of them themselves, and have a march date to start their programme.

Our plan is still, according to Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins being worked through. Why? We don't have a date for arrival. Why? We don't therefore have a start date. Why? We have no idea what sort of level of herd immunity we should expect before borders are opened. Why?

Just what is it they have been doing by way of planning?

Did we, or did we not, know that a vaccine, given our strategy of elimination was the sole answer to re-joining the world? And given it was, what the hell have we been doing for the past nine months?

Vaccine wise, to this point, we've bought some of Pfizer's. That turns out to be some of the most expensive, not to mention hard to store. We don’t have the hardware to store it, that’s on order.

It's almost as though we don’t care, that there is no hurry here, the border is not a big deal, and at some point, after the Christmas break, we may have a look and see if anything has arrived in the mail.

Meantime at the W.H.O, we have hooked in with their Covax plan. We will stand dutifully in line while they roll out their highly political, poor countries first programme.

For those desperate to get this nation off its knees and back to work, the likes of the pilots, the hoteliers, the moteliers, the exporters, and businesses that need the world up and running, am I the only one looking at Ardern and Hipkins aghast at their lack of planning urgency, and dare I suggest, delivery?