ACT slams 'nonsensical' pausing of vaccinations

Source: 1News

ACT leader David Seymour has hit out at the Government for its "nonsensical decision" to pause vaccinations in light of the community Covid-19 case in Auckland and the resulting Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a national three-day Level 4 lockdown this evening after a 58-year-old Devonport man tested positive for Covid-19. Auckland and Coromandel - where the man visited over the weekend - have been placed in seven-day lockdowns.

While genome testing is yet to come back, Ardern said the case was likely to have contracted the highly-contagious Delta variant. In order to reduce the potential of spreading the virus, she said vaccinations would be paused around the country for 48 hours.

Seymour said the move made "no sense".

“We are bottom of the OECD for vaccinations. Our low rates of vaccinations is what has put us most at risk of a Delta outbreak.

“The Prime Minister acknowledged that an outbreak at some point was inevitable, so why hadn’t she planned for this?

The Prime Minister has always promised transformational change for NZ.

“We need to get the population vaccinated as fast as possible. Stopping vaccinations makes no sense. We should have been prepared for this.”

Over 2.5 million doses have been administered in New Zealand to date. However, less than a million people have been fully vaccinated.

"Our low vaccination rates have left us a sitting duck," Seymour said.

Earlier this month, the Government ramped up the vaccine rollout, moving forward dates of eligibility that would see every New Zealander able to get a vaccine from September 1.

The week ending August 8 saw the most vaccination doses administered to date, with over 250,000 doses administered.

National leader Judith Collins supported the Government's decisive move to put the country in Alert Level 4.

“The evidence from overseas is clear; decisive action to prevent further community spread is what is needed when it comes to the highly-transmissible Delta variant," Collins said.

“It is better to act now to stamp out the spread of Covid-19 than to take half measures which do not work and result in it taking longer to shut down the spread."

Collins also said it was "crucial" vaccines were resumed as soon as possible.

"This case only highlights how important it is that we get as many Kiwis vaccinated as we can."