Mike's Minute: Measles debacle an embarrassment for this government

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Feb 2020, 9:34AM

Mike's Minute: Measles debacle an embarrassment for this government

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Feb 2020, 9:34AM

COMMENT:

Surely the number is astonishing: 300,000 among us are not fully vaccinated against measles - and that's just among those aged 15-29.

The tragedy is not just the number, because the number was always the number, and it was certainly the number last year when the outbreak happened. And the Government that gave us this number yesterday in their response was the same Government that insisted at the time that what they were doing, as regards the outbreak, was acceptable, successful, and the best they could do.

They said this against a backdrop of it patently not being true. So they are either being dishonest, or inept, or a combination of the two.

The "immunisation gap" is what they're now calling it. Why weren't they calling it that then? Why is it that something so obvious can be unfolding before your eyes and you peddle nonsense?

The report out over the weekend from the Ministry of Health confirms what anyone with half a brain already knew: They weren't on top of it, they had the wrong attitude and the wrong outlook. They are of the bewilderingly naive camp that says all you have to do is ask nicely.

We descended into a completely wasteful debate around whether this hopelessly large number of people unvaccinated was part of the anti-vax brigade, or just the lazy. We debated whether calling them lazy was a bit un-PC.

I asked over and over why didn't we do what Australia did - no jab no pay. You can't possibly expect the government to support you financially if you're not prepared to support the people who pay you in their overarching health campaigns.

The argument was that it targeted only those receiving government support. Yes it did, but it was also effective. And it was a solid tangible step that not only produced results but also sent a very strong message.

Meantime, our lot just kept peddling the naive line that if we keep asking nicely something might happen. Nothing did happen, of course, apart form the fact we exported the disease to the islands and the islands were ropeable. I wonder why?

And now Nurse Julie-Anne Genter has decided that making 300,000 jabs free is her response to her abject failure, and lack of grip on reality.

Still no compulsion, still no pressure, still no responsibility to impart, to those who won't or can't be bothered, that the role of a government in health matters is to protect us all, and sometimes the outliers need a bit more than a 'if you wouldn't mind'.

In the year of delivery, nothing here was delivered other than another dose of delusional ideology, that ended up making things a mile worse than they ever had to be.

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