New Zealanders need to confront the fact everyone in the country will have a brush with Covid-19, epidemiologist Rod Jackson says.
With news that the virus had spread south to Christchurch , the Auckland University professor said it was now obvious that the virus would sweep across the nation.
“While we let people go from the North Island to the South Island without being double-vaxxed, we’re going to get cases. We’re going to see more and more of these, particularly as we open up,” Jackson said.
With 69 per cent of eligible people living in the Canterbury DHB area fully vaccinated, Jackson said that figure didn’t provide reassurance until double-vaccination rates surpassed 90 per cent.
Jackson said most Kiwis would eventually develop immunity to Covid-19 in one of two ways.
“There’s the easy way, by the vaccine, and then there’s the hard way which is by the virus.
“If you get ‘vaccinated’ by the virus, many people are going to end up in hospital and, sadly, many people are going to die.”
He said Kiwis only needed to look at the Singapore experience for clues.
“If you’re not vaccinated, you’re 10 times as likely to be hospitalised and 30 times as likely to die. That’s what we’re going to deal with Delta,” Jackson said of the situation in Singapore.
And while some people who are vaccinated could still contract the virus, the chances of that happening were reduced, and they are more likely to experience it mildly, Jackson said.