Public Health Expert

Progress towards a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan: Congratulations to the Government

Public Health Expert Apr 16, 2021

Richard Edwards, Janet Hoek, Anaru Waa, George Thomson, Nick Wilson (author details*) We congratulate the NZ Government on its proposed Action Plan for the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal. Here we examine the evidence for three key ideas outlined in the plan: permitting tobacco products to be sold in only a small number of stores; reducing the nicotine in … Read More

More Evidence that Elimination is the Best COVID-19 Control Strategy for Health and the Economy

Public Health Expert Apr 12, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker In this blog we briefly consider a new Report from a European think tank that aims to identify an optimal COVID-19 response strategy. It considers mortality data, GDP impacts, and mobility data and suggests that COVID-19 elimination appears to be superior to mitigation/suppression strategies in health and economic terms. Nevertheless, more … Read More

Charting our way back to normal

Public Health Expert Apr 08, 2021

By Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Tim Wilson, Luke Thorburn and Professor Nathan Grills, University of Melbourne A new web tool, COVID-19 Pandemic Trade-offs, allows people to weigh the costs and benefits of different policy responses as Australia rolls out vaccines and considers opening borders. See here for an associated explanatory video. Article reproduced with permission from Pursuit  The … Read More

To ensure success of the trans-Tasman travel “green zone”, we need to reduce system failures at the NZ border

Public Health Expert Mar 30, 2021

Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson While succeeding very well with its elimination strategy, NZ still does not have optimal border control. We find since July 2020 there have been 13 identified border failures and at least 6 internal MIQ facility failures. The forthcoming quarantine-free “green zone” between NZ and Australia … Read More

Expansion of “green zones” may provide a chance for the global eradication of COVID-19

Public Health Expert Mar 18, 2021

Nick Wilson, Matt Boyd, Osman D Mansoor, Louise Delany, Michael G Baker With effective vaccines for COVID-19 comes the potential for disease eradication (elimination at the global level). Here we consider the advantages and the challenges, but ultimately suggest consideration of progressive expansion of “green zones” towards a target of COVID-19 eradication. Even if eradication is not achieved, establishing and … Read More

How to best prioritise Covid-19 Vaccination in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Public Health Expert Mar 02, 2021

Dr Ben Gray* New Zealand has begun to roll out its Covid-19 vaccination programme, starting with those working at the border, including in the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities. There have been calls for prioritising other groups such as those in South Auckland [1] and meat industry workers [2]. The National Ethics Advisory Committee has released a final … Read More

How best to classify and count NZ’s border control failures in the COVID-19 pandemic?

Public Health Expert Feb 12, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker In taking a systems approach to pandemic control, it is helpful to define what is meant by a “border control failure” so that such events can be used to guide performance improvement. This blog proposes specific definitions for the current context in Aotearoa NZ. It concludes that since July 2020, NZ … Read More

Staying Safe from COVID-19 over Summer and Beyond: The Need for More NZ Government Action

Public Health Expert Dec 21, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker Aotearoa/NZ has responded very successfully to the COVID-19 pandemic by achieving elimination and the lowest death rate in the OECD. But there are ongoing risks – which may even be increasing with larger numbers of infected returnees in border facilities. In this final blog of the year we detail the critical actions needed to … Read More