“Health Minister Chris Hipkins has this morning defended the Government’s tardy vaccination plans by saying Australia
hasn’t received its stocks of vaccine yet, and he believes both countries will receive them sometime in March,” says ACT
Leader David Seymour.
“This will come as news to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who says vaccination there will begin in
mid-to-late February, and he expects 4 million Australians to be vaccinated by March.
“Is this a case of underarm vaccination?
“New Zealand doesn’t plan to have vaccinations even started before April.
“Why are we falling so hopelessly behind?
“The Prime Minister told us the urgency of health situations in other jurisdictions meant we could wait while they fast
“But now the more virulent UK and South African variants of the virus have arrived on our shores, which is why Australia
is prioritising vaccination of frontline workers in the health sector and border enforcement at a rate of 80,000 a week
“We must get our vaccines onshore, approved and the programme rolling to minimise the chances of a catastrophic outbreak
of these virulent strains sending us back into lockdown.
“In the global rankings of anything positive New Zealand would generally expect to be in the top 50, but that doesn’t
look like it will be the case with rolling out a Covid-19 vaccination programme.
“Already 43 countries in the world have vaccinated almost 30 million people.
“Why is New Zealand’s vaccine stock on the slow boat? Why is Australia expecting its stocks so much sooner?
“It’s time for the Government to come back from the beach and get the show on the road.”