Health and Medicine

How do NZ’s vaccinated teachers have those hard conversations with their anti-vax colleagues? - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 10, 2021

Paul Heyward, University of Auckland   The news that all staff members at a small King Country school were still unvaccinated a week out from the government’s November 15 mandatory deadline underlines how challenging the weeks ahead might be. Next Monday marks the day teachers will need to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine … Read More

Studying the complex genetics behind hair colour reveals how melanin affects us - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 09, 2021

Frida Lona Durazo, Université de Montréal   One of the traits that we usually use to physically describe people is their hair colour. Hair is a useful descriptor because it varies so much among us. Melanin is the molecule responsible for the many different hair colour tones. It’s also responsible for the colour of our skin and eyes. We inherit … Read More

Nose sprays, needle-free patches, durable immunity: towards the next generation of COVID vaccines - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 09, 2021

Kylie Quinn, RMIT University   The past 20 months has seen an explosion of vaccine development, with COVID vaccine testing and rollout happening at an unprecedented pace in the face of a global pandemic. There have been absolute triumphs – the fact we have multiple safe, effective vaccines is remarkable – but there have also been challenges. We’ve seen storage … Read More

Cervical cancer screening in New Zealand: self-testing at home will improve equity of outcomes for non-European women - Hot off the press

Guest Author Nov 09, 2021

John Donne Potter, Massey University and Naomi Brewer, Massey University   Despite New Zealand’s national cervical screening programme (NCSP), Māori women are more than twice as likely as European women to be diagnosed with, and die from, cervical cancer. Similarly, the screening programme has not been equitable for Pasifika and Asian women. Like Māori women, Pasifika women have … Read More

The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill – a chance to submit on pivotal legislation for health in Aotearoa - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Nov 09, 2021

Boyd Swinburn and Louise Delany* The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill was introduced into Parliament in October 2021 and a submission process is now underway with a tight 9 December deadline. The Bill introduces major structural changes and will be associated with a suite of new health planning and strategy documents. The aim of this blog is to introduce … Read More

Management of Auckland’s external border with the world and internal boundary with NZ needs major changes to reflect the city’s shift from Covid-19 elimination to suppression - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Nov 08, 2021

Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard, Dr Jennifer Summers, Lesley Gray, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson* Analysis of countries with reasonable quality data implies that the risk of Covid-19 infection for most vaccinated international arrivals is typically less than the current risk for Auckland residents. Current MIQ requirements for vaccinated arrivals to Auckland could therefore be dropped for most, without increasing … Read More

Why vaccine doses differ for babies, kids, teens and adults – an immunologist explains how your immune system changes as you mature - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 05, 2021

Brian Peppers, West Virginia University   Human beings are born pretty helpless, with a lot of developing to do. And just as you must learn such skills as how to walk, so must your immune system learn to defend against infections. As time passes, your immune system matures through different stages, much the way you advanced from crawling … Read More

Protesting during a pandemic: New Zealand’s balancing act between a long tradition of protests and COVID rules - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 05, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato and Claire Breen, University of Waikato   Several times this week, protesters have forced Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to abandon events aimed to support the COVID vaccination rollout. Over the past few weeks, thousands have gathered, in breach of COVID restrictions and public health measures, to protest against lockdowns and vaccination mandates. The … Read More

A new ministry sets out to improve services and accessibility for New Zealanders living with disabilities - News

Guest Author Nov 05, 2021

Susanna Trnka, University of Auckland and Luca Muir, University of Auckland   The recent announcement of a new Ministry for Disabled People is a watershed moment for people living with disabilities in Aotearoa New Zealand. It comes none too soon, as COVID-19 has affected disability communities badly. Lockdown, particularly at levels 3 and 4, has put many disabled people … Read More

Are employers and workers at odds over NZ’s workplace vaccine mandates? Our research suggests they might be - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 04, 2021

Stephen Croucher, Massey University; Doug Ashwell, Massey University, and Jo Cullinane, Massey University   The New Zealand government’s announcement yesterday of expanded mandatory vaccination requirements raises important questions about legality and compliance. Vaccination will become mandatory for staff at any business where vaccine certificates are required for customers, including hospitality, hairdressers and gyms. But our research suggests this will … Read More