COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

Languishing, burnout and stigma are all among the possible psychological impacts as Delta lingers in the community

Guest Author Sep 10, 2021

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   As New Zealand remains under different levels of restriction, the psychological toll of the Delta outbreak may start to show, even as lockdown eases for everyone outside Auckland. We know that stress and isolation associated with a lockdown can exacerbate underlying mental illnesses. But even for people with … Read More

Musicians are urging us to vaccinate: the Australian federal government should learn from these moving, hopeful ads

Guest Author Sep 08, 2021

Andrea Fenton, Swinburne University of Technology   A new ad has been released from the LIVE Alliance (Live Industry Venues + Entertainment) a music industry collective, under the guidance of advertising veteran Russel Howcroft. The campaign, Vax the Nation, is set to Powderfinger’s My Happiness. Here, the lyrics take on new meaning as we watch scenes of live music … Read More

With lockdowns easing for the rest of New Zealand, Auckland becomes the elimination frontline

Guest Author Sep 07, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland   The number of new cases in New Zealand’s Delta outbreak is now on a downward trend and we have a good chance of eliminating it, even as lockdown restrictions ease for most of the country from tomorrow. After a peak in case numbers during the weekend of August … Read More

‘Living with COVID’ looks very different for front-line health workers, who are already exhausted

Guest Author Sep 07, 2021

Karen Willis, Victoria University and Natasha Smallwood, Monash University   With the Delta variant raging across New South Wales and Victoria, health services are stretched and strained. Behind the scenes is a fearful, anxious and overburdened workforce. In the next few months, the health workforce will care for many more patients with COVID-19, with case numbers in NSW expected … Read More

NZ is introducing mandatory record keeping to help contact tracers. But is the data protected enough?

Guest Author Sep 06, 2021

Andrew Chen, University of Auckland   From 11:59pm on Tuesday September 7, every person in Aotearoa New Zealand over the age of 12 will be required to keep a record of their whereabouts, either by scanning QR codes or signing paper registers many businesses and event organisers will have to provide. Mandatory record-keeping is part of an effort to … Read More

What are the limits of dissent as NZ locks down, vaccinates and prepares to ‘open up’?

Guest Author Sep 01, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   As New Zealand grapples to bring a Delta outbreak under control and to accelerate the vaccination rollout, social cohesion is vital for a successful elimination strategy. Political consensus on elimination has endured so far. Unlike the anti-mask and anti-vaccination movements elsewhere, most New Zealanders continue to back the prime minister’s decision to … Read More

South African health experts have identified a new lineage of SARS-CoV-2: what’s known so far

Guest Author Sep 01, 2021

Prof. Wolfgang Preiser, Stellenbosch University; Cathrine Scheepers, University of the Witwatersrand; Jinal Bhiman, National Institute for Communicable Diseases; Marietjie Venter, University of Pretoria; Penny Moore, University of the Witwatersrand, and Tulio de Oliveira, University of KwaZulu-Natal   As a team of South African researchers we have identified a new lineage of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. A lineage represents … Read More