New Zealand needs to “maintain its elimination strategy” while it works to achieve herd immunity through vaccines, says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
In an editorial piece for the New Zealand Medical Journal , Bloomfield writes that New Zealand will continue its 2020 strategy.
“The two big tasks for New Zealand in 2021 are to keep the virus responsible for Covid-19 out of the country and vaccinate as many people as possible.
“It will take all our collective focus and commitment to ensure we deliver for New Zealanders.”
Bloomfield acknowledged the vaccination roll-out this year will pose a challenge but says it’s one that has been worked on “at pace” for several months now.
“To have safe and effective vaccines less than a year after the pandemic was declared is truly remarkable; the challenge now is to ensure as many New Zealanders as possible receive these vaccines.”
He says with the virus continuing to change as the pandemic rages globally, New Zealand will have to continue to review its response.
“An ongoing commitment to reviewing and refining all aspects of our response will be essential during 2021, as we continue the focus on keeping the virus out of New Zealand and ‘stamping it out’ quickly if it does find its way through the border.”