Epidemiologist bets on another Delta outbreak this year without more vaccines

Source: 1News

An epidemiologist is warning New Zealand could face another wave of Covid-19 by Christmas if not enough people are vaccinated.

Nurses carry out Covid-19 testing

Roughly 250,000 Pfizer jabs touched down in Auckland today from Spain, helping to bolster vaccine supplies available from Saturday. 

Auckland University epidemiologist Rod Jackson told 1News, the Government should be focusing its attention on New Zealand's biggest city, at the heart of the Delta outbreak. 

"Auckland's where the next outbreak is going to happen... it should be prioritised to South Auckland, to the most vulnerable, to Māori, Pasifika, to those big households," he said. 

"I would bet a lot of money on another outbreak before Christmas if we don't get people vaccinated. So if you hate lockdowns, get a shot." 

Jackson wants the Government to double its number of vaccination centres set up across Auckland and introduce other innovative solutions to aid the rollout. 

"I'd like to see them next to McDonald's; I'd like to see them everywhere, door-to-do; in some countries, they have nurses with mobile fridges on their backs." 

He argues that many of those hesitant about getting the vaccine may just be too laid back and lack motivation to have the jab. 

"That seems to be the biggest problem around vaccine efficacy, is that people just haven't got around to it. 

"Actually, bring it to them; let's make it so easy that we get everyone vaccinated."

Jackson has a personal vaccination goal of having 95 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated and says the country can't afford to end up like Covid-stricken New South Wales. 

"We really have got to get everyone vaccinated because Delta is so much more infectious than any of the previous variants, and if it gets away like New South Wales... we're going to have people dying." 

He said the Government needs to be making New Zealanders "hungry for vaccinations", even if it means reducing doses for other areas outside of Auckland. 

"I actually want people to be hungry for vaccinations. That's what we want. We want New Zealanders to be hungry to get vaccinated. "

"I think it's a notice on every New Zealander and every New Zealand organisation to get everyone vaccinated by Christmas."