COVID-19

Have introverts really fared better in lockdown?

Guest Author Apr 14, 2021

Lis Ku, De Montfort University Since the onset of the pandemic, everyone from newspaper columnists to Twitter users has advanced the now idea that extroverts and introverts are handling the crisis differently. Many claim that introverts adapt to social distancing and isolation better than extroverts, with some even suggesting that introverts are practically “loving” the crisis, as it offers … Read More

The best hope for fairly distributing COVID-19 vaccines globally is at risk of failing. Here’s how to save it

Guest Author Apr 14, 2021

Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University COVAX, the global initiative to coordinate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in an equitable way, is crucial for bringing the pandemic under control. But COVAX’s aim of delivering 2 billion doses to participating countries by the end of 2021 — including 92 low-income countries that can’t afford to buy vaccines directly from manufacturers — … Read More

Vaccination alone will not provide full protection. When borders open, NZ will still be managing COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 09, 2021

Nikki Turner, University of Auckland From next week, unvaccinated staff working at managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities will be moved to low-risk jobs, following a case of a worker who missed vaccination appointments and then tested positive for COVID-19. The recently announced ban on arrivals from India underscores an important point: even once all border and … Read More

A quarantine-free trans-Tasman bubble opens on April 19, but ‘flyer beware’ remains the reality of pandemic travel

Guest Author Apr 07, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland   New Zealand’s government today announced a long-awaited quarantine-free travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia, beginning on April 19. Provided there is no significant community outbreak in Australia, the risk of New Zealand importing cases of COVID-19 is very low. But should there be a community outbreak … Read More

Blood clot fears: how misapplication of the precautionary principle may undermine public trust in vaccines

Guest Author Mar 17, 2021

Anthony R Cox, University of Birmingham The arrival of effective vaccines against COVID-19 has been one of the few good news stories of the pandemic. However, communicating the safety of vaccines has long been difficult, as shown by most countries having some level of vaccine hesitancy, including hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccines specifically. Just as regulatory authorities – such … Read More

5 ways to spot if someone is trying to mislead you when it comes to science

Guest Author Mar 09, 2021

Hassan Vally, La Trobe University It’s not a new thing for people to try to mislead you when it comes to science. But in the age of COVID-19 — when we’re being bombarded with even more information than usual, when there’s increased uncertainty, and when we may be feeling overwhelmed and fearful — we’re perhaps even more susceptible to being … Read More

More than 1 in 3 New Zealanders remain hesitant or sceptical about COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s how to reach them

Guest Author Mar 09, 2021

Jagadish Thaker, Massey University As Aotearoa New Zealand begins the third week of COVID-19 vaccinations, the focus turns from the 12,000-strong border workforce to their families and household contacts. Frontline health and emergency staff will be next in line, followed by the general population. While we can expect border, health and emergency workers to be largely supportive of vaccination, … Read More

Lots of law, not enough order — the government must be clearer about dealing with COVID rule-breakers

Guest Author Mar 04, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato New Zealand’s COVID-19 response might be the envy of the world, but that hasn’t stopped New Zealanders themselves getting angry about it this week. In short, there appeared to have been breaches of isolation orders by people linked to the Papatoetoe cluster that sent Auckland into level 3 alert last weekend. It subsequently … Read More

Before we introduce vaccine passports we need to know how they’ll be used

Guest Author Mar 03, 2021

Tim Dare, University of Auckland Air New Zealand is to trial digital “vaccine passports” on trans-Tasman routes in April. A media release says: “The goal is to enable customers to seamlessly manage their digital travel documentation throughout their travel experience.” And it’s easy to see why. Airlines want people back in the air, the tourism industry wants them back … Read More

Widespread testing in Auckland now key to ruling out possible undetected COVID-19 outbreak

Guest Author Mar 01, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland, and Siouxsie Wiles, University of Auckland As expected, genome sequencing has now confirmed the new community COVID-19 case in Auckland is linked to the Papatoetoe cluster, and is the more infectious B.1.1.7 variant. When the first cases in this cluster were reported on Feburary 14 Auckland moved to … Read More