COVID-19

‘Are you double dosed?’ How to ask friends and family if they’re vaccinated, and how to handle it if they say no

Guest Author Oct 05, 2021

Jessica Kaufman, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Julie Leask, University of Sydney   The weekend is approaching, your fridge is stocked with cheese and you’re eager to organise a COVID-compliant picnic with other fully vaccinated adults which your local rules stipulate. But choose your guests wisely — only fully vaccinated people can attend, and fines apply if the rules are … Read More

NZ needs a more urgent vaccination plan — with nearly 80% now single-dosed, the majority will support it

Guest Author Oct 05, 2021

Rod Jackson, University of Auckland   With vaccination rates still too low in Auckland and around Aotearoa New Zealand, and with unexpected cases still showing up, there are few options ahead of today’s government decision on alert levels. Until there are high levels of immunity, any relaxation of restrictions within Aotearoa when Delta is in the community will dramatically … Read More

Vax and vacation? Why that Pacific island holiday will still mean ‘traveller beware’

Guest Author Sep 29, 2021

Apisalome Movono, Massey University and Regina Scheyvens, Massey University   Pacific Island countries are betting big on vaccination as a strategy for resuming tourism by Christmas and bringing much needed relief for their struggling economies. For much of the Pacific, tourism has long been the goose that laid the golden egg. But the pandemic has underlined how fragile and … Read More

Social media, activism, trucker caps: the fascinating story behind long COVID

Guest Author Sep 28, 2021

Deborah Lupton, UNSW   Today, we use the term “long COVID” to describe the lingering symptoms some people have many weeks or months after infection. But how long COVID came to be recognised by doctors and the wider community shows us the power of patient activism, networking, research skills and persistence. Using social media, patients collected … Read More

Emotional vaccine: 3 ways we can move from ‘languishing’ to ‘flourishing’ in these testing times

Guest Author Sep 28, 2021

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   If you’re feeling uninspired, stagnant and joyless, you’re not alone. A sense of languishing is one of the dominant emotions of 2021 as we navigate life in an ongoing pandemic and process other terrible world events alongside. But although many people are struggling and these struggles are … Read More

How Cuban medical training has helped Pacific nations face the pandemic challenge

Guest Author Sep 23, 2021

Sharon McLennan, Massey University   With the COVID-19 pandemic stretching health systems worldwide, Pacific countries have capitalised on their relative isolation to avoid the worst. Border closures and other measures have slowed and stopped the spread of the virus to the point some nations have recorded no cases at all. Even where the virus has not spread, however, establishing … Read More

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

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

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

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?

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