NZ had ‘no choice’ but to lock down amid vaccine roll-out ‘failure’ - Collins

Source: 1News

Had New Zealand’s vaccine roll-out been faster, then the Auckland man who tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday might have already received his jabs, Judith Collins says. 

The National leader is calling the vaccine roll-out a “failure”.

“There’s no choice, as I see it [but to go to Alert Level 4]. The country is largely unvaccinated.

"If there’s a failure, it is around getting vaccinations into the country and then getting them into people,” the National leader told Breakfast. 

“The gentleman himself, he’s done nothing wrong...if the vaccine rollout had been what had been promised, he would now be vaccinated.” 

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said a 58-year-old from Devonport in Auckland’s North Shore tested positive for the virus.

On Wednesday, four new cases were reported in the community all linked to yesterday's case. 

The man was in the process of getting vaccinated, but was having technology issues while trying to book appointments. 

Collins said it would be “simply impossible” to stop the spread of the highly-transmissible Delta variant among a largely unvaccinated population. 

Ministry of Health data continues to show the country is slightly ahead of its vaccine targets. About 2.5 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine have been administered. 

Collins said it wasn’t good enough that the Government said yesterday that of the population eligible for vaccination, only about 40 per cent had gotten a dose. 

“Frankly, the whole population needs to be vaccinated, certainly at least 80 per cent,” she said. 

Collins said the fact that the man’s fully vaccinated wife had tested negative for the virus shows the vaccine is effective. 

Touching on the topic of financial support amid lockdown, Collins said, from her understanding, there was just over $5 billion left in the country’s Covid-19 fund after being subject to “raiding” by the Finance Minister. 

Yesterday, the Government activated a number of measures , including the wage subsidy scheme and resurgence support payment for businesses. 

Collins said the support was welcome, but added that landlords and tenants should get assistance for their rental costs. 

While it was “comforting” for people on wages that the wage subsidy payment had been increased, “it does not affect the biggest fixed cost for many businesses” faced, which was rent, she said.