New Zealand’s delayed vaccine rollout threatens early Covid ...

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New Zealand’s delayed vaccine rollout threatens early Covid success

The government has been accused of complacency as health experts warn of fast-spreading strains

Jamie Smyth

New Zealand’s “go hard, go early” strategy to combat Covid-19 attracted global praise and eliminated local transmission of the virus. But the country’s slow rollout of vaccines is putting people at unnecessary risk and threatens to delay its economic recovery, critics warn.

Wellington plans to start vaccinating front-line workers in April and the public from July under a cautious strategy that avoids the emergency authorisation of vaccines pursued by crisis-stricken nations such as the US and UK.

Some health experts, however, are urging the government to speed up its immunisation plans in consideration of the risks posed by new, rapidly spreading strains of the virus, which have been identified among overseas arrivals...

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