Health and Medicine

A vaccine will be a game-changer for international travel. But it’s not everything - COVID-19

Guest Author Dec 04, 2020

Adrian Esterman, University of South Australia The United Kingdom yesterday became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use. Following a review by the country’s drug regulator, the UK government announced it will begin rolling out the vaccine next week. Other countries are likely to follow soon, authorising the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and possibly other … Read More

Health and Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Response: NZ Compared to OECD Countries - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Dec 04, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Prof Michael Baker (author details*) Aotearoa/NZ has achieved the lowest death rate in the OECD from the COVID-19 pandemic, equivalent to around 2000 lives and 32,000 life-years saved compared to the OECD average. With regard to economic harm, NZ appears to be close to the OECD average, with … Read More

Why the way we approach transgender and non-binary healthcare needs to change - Guest Work

Guest Author Dec 01, 2020

Rona Carroll, University of Otago Demand for healthcare for transgender people is on the rise in New Zealand but training for health professionals to develop basic competencies is lagging behind. There is little teaching on gender and sexuality at either of New Zealand’s medical schools. It’s partly due to lack of time, but also lack of confidence … Read More

Bioethicists, Scientists and Politicians; Decision Making in a Pandemic - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Dec 01, 2020

Dr Ben Gray* To date New Zealand has come through the pandemic well. The role of political leadership and scientific input has been well covered. Part of this success was built upon having a clear ethical framework for managing a pandemic that had been developed in advance following the SARS outbreak. This blog considers the interaction between the science the … Read More

The COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa/NZ: A brief photo-essay with 10 photos - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Nov 25, 2020

Luke Pilkinton-Ching, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson In this photo-essay of the COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa/NZ, each photo is accompanied by a brief comment on the pandemic impact or response. In some instances these images reflect success factors such as the relatively early introduction of border controls and the stringent nature of the “lockdown”. But we also consider some … Read More

Buying and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine will involve hard ethical and practical choices - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 18, 2020

Barbara Allen, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Michael Macaulay, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington The world was ablaze with hope following the announcement last week that a vaccine developed by Pfiser and BioNTech may be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. New Zealand politicians were quick to … Read More

Moderna follows Pfizer with exciting vaccine news – how to read these dramatic developments - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 17, 2020

Simon Kolstoe, University of Portsmouth It is very exciting to hear another positive story about vaccine trial results – a good vaccine is the most likely way of ending the pandemic. Last week, interim results from Pfizer suggested its vaccine reduces cases of COVID-19 with 90% efficacy. Now Moderna has gone one better, with interim results showing nearly … Read More

Time to Stop Dodging Bullets? NZ’s Eight Recent Border Control Failures - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Nov 17, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker There have been eight distinct border control failures in Aotearoa/NZ relating to the pandemic virus that causes COVID-19, since early August 2020, equivalent to one every two weeks. In this blog we briefly detail these failures and argue the case for an urgent review and upgrading of … Read More

Will the Coronavirus Evolve to Be Less Deadly? - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 14, 2020

Wendy Orent No lethal pandemic lasts forever. The 1918 flu, for example, crisscrossed the globe and claimed tens of millions of lives, yet by 1920, the virus that caused it had become significantly less deadly, causing only ordinary seasonal flu. Some pandemics have lasted longer, like the Black Death, which swept out of Central Asia in 1346, spread across Europe, … Read More