New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – Photo: REUTERS
“In the past we used a blockade because we didn’t have the tools (the vaccine.) Now we are in lockdown because there are not enough people who have been vaccinated to stop the outbreak,” Ms. Ardern explained. .
To date, only 34% of New Zealand’s 5.1 million people have completed their COVID-19 vaccination. Although starting vaccination is slower than developed countries, New Zealand is accelerating it. The government has bought more vaccines from Spain and Denmark and will deploy mobile injection points by bus to reach more people.
The arrival of the first COVID-19 case in 6 months in August 2021 forced New Zealand to re-lock down. About 1.7 million people in Auckland will continue to implement a blockade order until next week, as the government tries to control the Delta variant infection.
Responding to comments that businesses want to know specific vaccination targets to make sure they don’t shut down again, Ms Ardern simply said she wanted people to get vaccinated “as much as possible”. .
“The reason we don’t put a specific number is because if we say ‘we want 80%’ and only get it to 60% in some part of the country, people there will freak out. So all of them. We must work together to raise vaccination rates as high as possible,” the New Zealand prime minister explained.
On September 14, New Zealand recorded 15 new cases of COVID-19, down from 33 on September 13. During the past outbreak, the country recorded 970 new cases of COVID-19, mostly in Auckland. Last week, New Zealand authorities relaxed epidemic control measures in all localities in the country, except Auckland.