Health and Medicine

Why you shouldn’t make a habit of doing a ‘just in case’ wee — and don’t tell your kids to either - Guest Work

Guest Author Sep 21, 2021

Jennifer King, University of Sydney   We’ve all done a quick “just in case” wee before heading out or because we’re passing the bathroom. If you’re a parent, you might have also told the kids to “do a wee now so we don’t have to find a toilet later.” Doing a “just in case” wee isn’t a problem if it’s … Read More

New Zealand cannot abandon its COVID elimination strategy while Māori and Pasifika vaccination rates are too low - COVID-19

Guest Author Sep 21, 2021

Collin Tukuitonga, University of Auckland   Auckland’s move to alert level 3 has also triggered speculation about whether the national COVID-19 elimination strategy has failed or is even being abandoned. While the government denies it, others clearly believe it is at least a possibility. The uncertainty is troubling. If elimination fails or is abandoned, it would suggest … Read More

New Zealand has ramped up vaccination rates, but too many people remain concerned about vaccine safety - COVID-19

Guest Author Sep 21, 2021

Stephen Croucher, Massey University; Doug Ashwell, Massey University, and Jo Cullinane, Massey University   After five weeks in the strictest lockdown, Auckland will move to level 3 restrictions from midnight on Tuesday, for at least two weeks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the decision was based on low community spread and an accelerated vaccination rollout. A targeted vaccination campaign will … Read More

New Zealand government takes a calculated risk to relax Auckland’s lockdown while new cases continue to appear - Unsorted

Guest Author Sep 21, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland   The decision to move Auckland to alert level 3 from midnight on Tuesday is a calculated risk by the government. New daily cases in Auckland have stayed stubbornly high over the past week, a period when many of us had hoped to see them fall to … Read More

Covax misses its 2021 delivery target – what’s gone wrong in the fight against vaccine nationalism? - COVID-19

Guest Author Sep 20, 2021

Rory Horner, University of Manchester   The latest supply forecast for Covax – the programme for sharing COVID-19 vaccines around the world – suggests that accelerating vaccination in low-income countries looks unlikely. Covax estimates it will have distributed 1.425 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021, significantly less than the 2 billion doses it was aiming for … Read More

Making the Most of Masks - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 17, 2021

Dr Nitasha Rimar, Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Lesley Gray, Prof Michael Baker  Masks and vaccination have a central role in minimising the health and economic impact of COVID-19, regardless of the long-term strategy we use against the pandemic. These interventions depend on both good performance and high population coverage.  Here we update evidence on mask effectiveness and … Read More

Overlooked and undervalued, New Zealand’s community caregivers have become the ‘invisible’ essential workers - COVID-19

Guest Author Sep 16, 2021

Katherine Ravenswood, Auckland University of Technology; Amber Nicholson, Auckland University of Technology, and Fiona Hurd, Auckland University of Technology   As Auckland enters its fifth week in level 4 lockdown and the rest of New Zealand stays at level 2, spare a thought for the nation’s invisible network of essential community support workers. They are the people caring for those … Read More

Lessons learned from a remote blood pressure lowering trial in Aotearoa - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 16, 2021

Helen Eyles, Jacqui Grey, Elaine Umali, Cliona Ni Mhurchu Technologies such as smartphone apps, Wi-Fi-enabled data collection devices, and web-based data management systems offer the opportunity to deliver and assess the impact of clinical trials remotely, something which researchers are becoming increasingly drawn to.  However, there are drawbacks, and even experienced teams will encounter challenges.  In this blog we share … Read More

Why a domestic NZ COVID ‘passport’ raises hard questions about discrimination, inequality and coercion - COVID-19

Guest Author Sep 16, 2021

Tim Dare, University of Auckland and Justine Kingsbury, University of Waikato   With COVID-19 causing extraordinarily intrusive and expensive lockdowns, vaccine “passports” or certificates are increasingly seen as key to getting out of them. Decision-makers and gatekeepers – from border guards to maître d’s – will have a means of knowing who can safely engage with others. To that end, … Read More

Intensifying Covid-19 Control Measures: 5 Measures for Faster Elimination and 5 Measures to Prevent Future outbreaks - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 16, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker   Despite some good progress, the persisting Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland still poses risks to health, social wellbeing and the economy. There is a need for accelerated efforts to ensure more rapid elimination of community transmission. In this blog we look at … Read More