Like Australia, New Zealand’s COVID vaccination efforts have been spectacular.
As shown in the table below, 88% of the eligible (12+) population has received at least one vaccine dose, with 75% full vaccinated:
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This has moved New Zealand from global vaccination laggard towards leader:
Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city of 1.7 million people – has been in lockdown since 18 August despite New Zealand having only 1882 community cases and Auckland being more highly vaccinated than New Zealand as a whole. 85% of eligible Auckland residents are fully vaccinated, while 94% have had at least one dose.
Yet, despite the low active case numbers and Auckland’s high vaccination rate, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Aucklanders will remain under heavily restrictions for the foreseeable future:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said shops in the city can begin operating from midnight on November 9. Public facilities will also reopen and the number of people who can gather outdoors will increase to 25.
However, Auckland will remain at Alert Level 3, meaning many restrictions will stay in place, as the Delta variant of COVID continues to spread.
Cafes and restaurants can still only offer takeaway service, and groups of up to 25 people can meet outside only, as Ardern urged people not to meet in homes.
The city, New Zealand’s largest, remains sealed off from the rest of the country until higher vaccination rates allow its citizens more freedoms under Alert Level 2.
“These decisions are carefully balanced and allow us to release some of the pressure and fatigue that we know exists in Auckland while we continue to vaccinate,” Ardern told a news conference in Wellington on Monday. “Auckland has given us time, time to vaccinate, and we must take it urgently”…
The New Zealand government has released modelling of the Auckland Delta outbreak that suggests cases will rise to 1400 a week by the end of month, and a potential 150 new hospitalisations a week.
Asked if rising cases would prevent Auckland from opening up more freely by Christmas, Ardern said she expected 90 per cent of eligible residents would be fully vaccinated by then.
There has only been two deaths in this outbreak out of nearly 1900 cases. At what point will Aucklanders say “enough is, enough” and revolt against Jacinda Ardern’s draconian restrictions?
Residents of Auckland are nearly as highly vaccinated as NSW. They must be looking across the pond at Sydney and Melbourne and wondering what the hell is going on?
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