Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

NZ watching deployment, data of Pfizer vaccine in UK - Bloomfield

New Zealand officials are keeping a close eye on the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine rollout in the UK before a vaccinations campaign is launched here.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Britain began mass vaccinating its population on Tuesday, starting with the elderly and frontline workers.

However, two people reported adverse reactions on the first day of the rollout and the local regulator is now advising those with a history of significant allergies not to get the vaccine.

During a media briefing, the government's Vaccine Strategy Taskforce chair Ian Town said Britain's deployment of the vaccine was being watched closely.

"Any reaction like that is concerning. The key thing is to monitor this over time to try and understand what the cause might have been and to ensure that when we look carefully at that data in the early part of next year we take those things into account," he said.

Town said reactions from a vaccine were rare.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield noted New Zealand was in a more favourable position than other countries.

"We've got the advantage of not having to use the vaccine right now because we have no big outbreak, so we can watch and see what happens with the deployment of this Pfizer vaccine in realtime in the UK and look at the safety monitoring data," he said.

Bloomfield assured a vaccine would not be deployed in New Zealand unless officials were confident it was safe and effective.

"It is one of the reasons that on the advice of the taskforce, MBIE has bought more than one vaccine for New Zealand, partly that is to address the potential risk that one of them may not come through to production," he said.

He did not rule out the country deploying multiple vaccines.

"There will be subsequent decisions to be made about the use of a vaccine dependent on the assessment that is made by Medsafe and also making sure we have the vaccines that are most appropriate for different population groups.

"It may well be that we deploy more than one vaccine here in New Zealand, that is not uncommon," he said.

On those who are vaccinated overseas, Town said the jury was still out on whether they would be able to skip managed isolation when entering the country.

"What we need to know is the effect of the vaccine in the medium to long term and how long those effects will last.

"Now the phase three studies that are underway at the moment are examining that very carefully, so as we think about border management in the middle and second half of next year, those are things we will need to review," he said.

Bloomfield said border controls and the current elimination strategy would continue to serve New Zealanders going into 2021.

The government is expected to provide more details of what a vaccine rollout could look like here by the end of the year.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Keith Rankin: Liberal Democracy In The New Neonationalist Era: The Three 'O's
The proposed ‘New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme’ (‘the scheme’) has attracted strong debate among the more left-wing and liberal groupings, within New Zealand-Aotearoa. This debate should be seen as a positive rather than negative tension because of the opportunity to consider and learn from the implications and sharpen advocacy... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Words Matter, Prime Minister
Words matter, especially when uttered by politicians. History is littered with examples of careless or injudicious words uttered by politicians coming back to haunt them, often at the most awkward of times. During the 1987 election campaign, when electoral reform was a hot issue, Prime Minister David Lange promised to have a referendum on the electoral system... More>>



Dunne Speaks: New Zealanders' Ongoing Quest For Security

In many ways, the essential story of New Zealand over the last hundred years or so has been our search for security. Whether it be security from want, or unemployment, homelessness, or cultural alienation, it has always been a constant theme which has occupied the minds of successive governments over the years... More>>



Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>




The Conversation: Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn't the answer

As New Zealand considers the removal of the goods and services tax (GST) from food to reduce costs for low income households, advocates need to consider the impact cheap food has on the environment and whether there are better options to help struggling families... More>>