Doctor on Covid frontline sleeping on boat to keep family safe

Source: 1News

Gaps in the country's vaccination roll out has forced those working on the frontline to take extra steps to keep their families safe. 

A health worker checks a swab at a Covid-19 testing station

From keeping clothing and shoes well away from the rest of their bubble to moving out of the household to limit any risk of exposure. 

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Executive Director Sarah Dalton told Breakfast that some have even resorted to living on a boat while in lockdown to keep their families out of harms way. 

"We've already heard of some of our members who are doctors that have chosen not to go home. One was sleeping on a boat instead of going home to their family." 

Dalton said those on the frontline that head out to work are having to "think really carefully" about what they do when they come home, particularly as not all their households were prioritised for Covid vaccinations at the beginning of the rollout. 

Now with the wider population's vaccinations underway, she's concerned those who are yet to get the jab won't be prioritised over Group Three. 

"It is kinda open to everyone now but is still important to make those people a priority; but it may be more difficult.

"A number of frontline workers and their families weren't given the same opportunities as Groups One and Two." 

Adding that it is "disappointing," Dalton had hoped the frontline workers and their households would still be given a greater opportunity to get the jab. 

Epidemiologist Michael Baker noted that having some essential workers still unvaccinated can cause issues down the line. 

"I think it is still problematic that some people in Group One, the healthcare workers and frontline workers, have missed out." 

He said it is now up to employers to step in to boost vaccinations for priority groups, in order to make sure those who needed the vaccine above the majority of the population, can still get jabbed. 

"There is a responsibility for employers to organise special testing days or clinics so they can vaccinate widely," Baker told Breakfast. 

In light of the country's community outbreak, New Zealand has been drastically ramping up its vaccine roll out under Alert Level 4 restrictions. 

Both Friday and Saturday proved to be record breaking days for the programme, with the most vaccines given for a single week day and weekend to date. 

The rollout was temporarily suspended Tuesday as the country was plunged into lockdown, however it has since resumed. 

The calm water. White sloop rigged yacht sailing at sunset. A view from the deck to the bow, mast and the sails. Baltic Sea, Latvia