“Eighty thousand vaccination doses in one day is good news. What would have been incredible news is if this rate was achieved, say, 100 days ago. That would have got the target 8 million doses done, and New Zealand might be in a very different situation,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Today’s vaccination figure is where we needed to be months ago, a little humility would go a long way, but the self-congratulation is nauseating.
“Meanwhile, the Government has helpfully shared that only 62 per cent of traced cases have returned a test result. We are still far from reaching the edges of this outbreak.
“Chris Hipkins’ triumphant vaccine pronouncement reminds us how long it’s taken to get here, and that the Government’s vaccination failure is the prime reason we are locked down.
“The Government has used the faulty logic that New Zealand didn’t need to go hard or early on vaccination because there was no COVID in New Zealand. True to form, it is ramping up vaccinations now there is COVID in the community. The problem is you don’t get a vaccine because you’re sick, its designed to stop you getting sick.
“Unfortunately, the Government was slow to order doses, slow to roll out distribution, and we find ourselves locked down because of it.
“The Government has improved its transparency around testing statistics, slightly. They told us only 62 per cent of known contacts have returned a test result, but these figures are not part of the official data release, nor have we been told how many ‘high risk’ contacts have been identified and returned a test. Yesterday, 51 per cent of 369 ‘high risk’ contacts had returned a test result.
“The upshot is that we are a long way from being able to lift alert levels restrictions, because the Government’s tracing and testing machine is nowhere near the end of the chains of transmission yet.
“ACT is calling for the Government to release the data they have for the public benefit at the first opportunity. They are breaking down test statistics by age, gender, ethnicity and location, so why not by actual exposure?”