Dr Liz Gordon: Leadership on the wrong side of history

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The government has laid out its plan.  It has spoken.  The effort over the next month goes into each DHB (I thought they were being abolished, but obviously not yet) getting 90% of people over 12 in its area vaccinated.

Once this is achieved, there is a possibility (infection rates and strain on hospitals allowing) that the country (in three regions) might go to green light status. Go, go, go to once more opening up our society – and living with Covid 19 in our midst. And there’s the rub.

Those who do not get their vaccinations (and, presumably, in the future keep them up to date) will not be able to participate fully in civil society. It is likely they will be excluded from public events. It will be harder for them to send their children to school, eat out and go to church.

As I noted last week, they are likely to catch the disease quite frequently and will get sicker than the vaccinated and some will die.  If we manage 90%, then 400,000 over-12s are in this risky category.  For a less slippery disease, where vaccination stops people catching and spreading it, those people would be protected by herd immunity.   Unfortunately, Covid-19 vaccines do not completely prevent infection and transmission.  They may never do so.

It has been very disappointing to see some leaders, by their words and actions, supporting vaccine refusal. The Thames Mayor, Sandra Goudie, who spent nine years in Parliament but is known primarily for her intransigence (according to reporting), is one such.

The latest ‘intellectual’ position, taken by Sandra Goudie and others, is that the RNA-based vaccines are bad, and that treatments for the disease are improving greatly, so we do not need (this) vaccine.  I received an (out of the blue) email from Alwyn Poole, he of NZ Charter School fame. As far as I know, his email to me was not personal or privileged, so I feel happy repeating part of it here. 

Last Monday I handed in my Teacher Registration. There are genuine health concerns with mRNA vaccines and they are growing and being expressed by very high quality academics

And that little gem of a statement goes to the heart of it. Mr Poole handed in his teacher registration because he believes in and spreads disinformation that the virus is unsafe. Sandra Goudie said the same thing – she might consider getting the Novavax vaccine but not the Pfizer.

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I agree with these people that the vaccine is not as effective as one would like to see. But if it is raining hard, a smaller umbrella is definitely better than none at all.

Also, there is something strange about all this. Billions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine have now been administered all around the world. If there were longer term effects, we would know by now.  You can’t say that mRNA-based vaccines are unsafe in themselves (the notion is that they might alter the DNA somehow) because it’s just not true. DNA is the blueprint, RNA the operating system. Not the other way around.

I have also begun to get the feeling that people’s opposition to the vaccine precedes, in most instances, their attempts to explain that opposition. They look for reasons to support their position. Whether the reason is religion (God isn’t vaccinated so that is good enough for me, as someone said in response to one of Mr Poole’s own blogs) or some other ideology.

Mr Poole also raises the question of personal freedom being of concern.  People do not have to get the vaccine if they don’t want to, but they will undoubtedly pay the price for it.  I would not overplay this hand. The loss of personal freedom is a relatively small one, but the gains in complying are great. It is of the nature of obeying the road rules because they are good for us all, not of sending people to death camps.

Put it another way.  The price of not being vaccinated is an annual or more frequent dose of the virus, possibility hospitalisation, ventilation and death, and infecting others on a regular basis. Really, honestly, why would you go through that when you could join the rest of us? Do you want to be one of those people, so common in the media, that blats out their epitaph in their last few breaths: “I wish now I had got the vaccine”?

I expect teachers to take leadership roles in this.  Teachers are (or at least used to be) trained to think, research and analyse data. If they have concerns about getting the virus, they need to do a serious exercise of adducing the data and understanding it.  If they do that, they – I guarantee – will come out in favour of the notion that vaccination of everyone that can be vaccinated – more than 99% of the over-12s – is the best option for Aotearoa and the world.

As for Mr Poole, Ms Goudie, Mr Tamaki, Mr Te Kahika and all the other ‘leaders’ who remain intransigently opposed to vaccination, you might be delighted that your opposition is expanding your fame.  But you must know that you are on the wrong side of history here. You should all know better.

 

Dr Liz Gordon is a researcher and a barrister, with interests in destroying neo-liberalism in all its forms and moving towards a socially just society. She usually blogs on justice, social welfare and education topics.

83 COMMENTS

  1. Oh God…
    ” God isn’t vaccinated so that is good enough for me, ” Do people really say that? Jesus wept…
    Alters the DNA? I wish! I’d love to be a big black guy with awesome teeth and have skin that doesn’t go in fire every time the sun comes out. ( Is it wrong of me to write that…? )
    What we’re seeing @ Dr LG is the tyranny of the Masses. The masses are also, it must be said, mad as a box full of cocaine addict mice after having all smoked a methamphetamine chaser.
    No wonder the lunatic riche are opting for outer space. They’d rather take their chances in crude tech, in zero gravity and all done in a vacuum than hang with antivaxxer God botherers.
    Polio? Heard of, dipshits?

  2. There is a large antivax contingent here in Northland, no real local cheerleaders here that I know of but plenty of recalcitrant Maori and a lot of “alternative” types and a smaller contingent of the libertarian persuasion I suspect.
    Here’s an interesting essay – with quite a bit on NZ specifically: https://quillette.com/2021/10/21/vaccine-rejectionism-and-the-left/

    Excerpt: The Left’s suspicion of vaccines is linked to other strains of science denialism among progressives, most notably anti-GMO and anti-CRISPR activists. For more than two decades before the COVID pandemic, the most influential anti-vax organizations were organic advocates who fiercely rejected agricultural biotechnology. Over the past two years, many of these groups, ostensibly concerned with lifestyle fads like natural medicine, have morphed into COVID anti-vaxxers.

    For example, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a longstanding hub for granola-munchers, and its promotion of organic food and “natural” and “alternative” medicines is frequently cited in media foodie circles. The OCA has been one of the most influential demonizers of GMOs, CRISPR crops, and other sustainable agricultural tools, and positions itself as “not ‘anti-vax,’ but rather pro-vaccine safety,” disingenuously promoting what it calls “freedom of choice” while diligently working to undermine trust in vaccine efficacy and safety.

    • There’s nothing inevitable about concern for the planet making you anti science….my mate is a vegan (the true hardline no harm to any animal kind) and has been for 20yrs, however he’s intelligent, rational and double vaxed, the problem is hippys lack critical thinking skills….they’d be the dickheads in any and every room no matter what the meeting was for…idiocy just expresses itself in this manner currently.

  3. I’d be more circumspect in saying “If there were longer term effects, we would know by now”.

    I’ve had my first jab, will soon get the second and recommend everyone without extenuating medical conditions do the same. However there is growing evidence of VERY rare but concerning adverse effects potentially connected to a systemic inflammatory response (pericarditis, myocarditis in particular but also others), and a discussion in medical/research circles of whether inadvertent intravascular injection (rather than intramuscular) is a factor in this. I suspect the consensus will shift in the next 3-6 months.

    There is a strong and completely obvious case to make that the risk of adverse effects from the vaccine is minimal compared to the risk from the virus, (except for perhaps young males?) combined with the additional value of reducing the chances of catching and passing it on. However while I may disagree with Alwyn Poole’s choice and might also disagree with his other statements on vaccination, there is actually nothing in the quote you cite which is incorrect.

    So again i’d be more circumspect, you can make the case for vaccination while distinguishing genuine concern from misinformed (mRNA, gene therapy) or absurd (5G, microchips) and I think you fail to do this in your piece.

    It’s worth remembering that about six months ago the statement “Unfortunately, Covid-19 vaccines do not completely prevent infection and transmission. They may never do so.” would not have been a consensus position either.

  4. The loss of freedoms is small? Lol.

    Not being able to undertake normal every day activities, nor possibly be able to fly domestically or internationally or pursue the profession for which one has trained and pursued? Having to disclose publicly to everyone matters normally of personal health? I’d hate to see what Liz Gordon considers a large loss of freedom.

    I can list if easier, the freedom that vaccine passports and mandates steamroll is:

    Right to free movement, right to refuse medical treatment, right to privacy, right to freedom of association, right to freedom from discrimination, right to freedom of religion (in public or private), right to work, right to education (in person).

    This is amongst others. The rights being protected is.. ..none. Despite all the clamour, there is no right to low health risks, at the very most the right to health requires some management of a pandemic – no one argues it even remotely requires anything like vaccine passports or 90% or eternal traffic lights.

    This is for a variant that currently had a fatality rate of 2/2500 or 0.08%, overwhelming kills the elderly, and for a vaccine the author admits is less than optimal, and where the UK Guardian openly admits is only part of the health puzzle.

    Low fat foods, not smoking, daily exercise, less than 10g sugar per day, and 8 hours sleep all are 100% healthy and good choices. Why don’t we enforce this by law and demonise those who don’t do it? Our collective health would go through the roof and save thousands of lives and dollars.

    I’m happily double vaxxed but I can tell you what a sober, rational history will tell and whilst it won’t lionise Tamaki, it will lambast the mob hysteria that lead to the largest state and employer power grab in NZ history for a limited benefit and a grossly divided nation.

    • Average death over 81 y/o and they’re coming after our children who are more at risk from flu. With a jab that is only provisionally approved from a company that has a long criminal history. They are every bit the authoritarians they claim to oppose.

    • You comment is chokka full of bullshit but I won’t let this one stand:

      “This is for a variant that currently had a fatality rate of 2/2500 or 0.08%, overwhelming kills the elderly,”

      No, it overwhelming stresses the health system, which in turn affects and puts at risk people of all ages who may require care: treatment and surgeries are delayed or cancelled. ICU beds are unavailable for emergencies. Programmes such as organ transplant grind to a halt.

      Think! Think beyond yourself and you petty individualism.

      • I never suggested that would be the final death rate but it is elucidating to come back to the actual reality of Delta so far than fear-porn.

        Shall we also talk hospital capacity? 85,000 cancer treatment pushed back according to the Govt from lockdowns! MiQ has blocked specialists coming! It’s a joke on you my friend if you think Govt policy so far – and its mass failure to increase capacity – has nothing to do with it.

        If the Govt fails to provide enough polling booths in an election, do we just throw the right to vote out the window and blame all those pesky extra voters or hold the Govt responsible?

        What a joke.

        • You appear to be the joke James. Don’t you know the difference between 85 (according to Shane Reti) and 85,000? Of the 85, How many became terminal? Probably a few at best with no increase in the average death rate due to deferrals. And don’t bullshit about cancellations, four rounds of chemo – 14 treatments, 40 radiation treatments and none deferred – this was from a diagnosis and immediate hospitalisation and treatment in December last year! Can you present evidence to substantiate the claim that specialists were blocked from coming to NZ by MIQ? Not according to media reports! Not sure where you come from but Wellington is having more difficulties with Saturday piss-heads taking up ED spaces than non-elective surgery spaces. That said, the CCDHB is constantly revising emergency plans in case of a Covid deluge. The latest plan is a doozy and could relieve other areas if necessary. The main problem is overworked staff and a potential shortage of nurses. Looks like there are plans in place for that too, as long as we don’t have too many overseas hospitals poaching from the NZ health workforce.
          It would be tempting to call you out as for what you appear to be, but suffice to say, let’s hope that the health system has capacity in the coming months so that you can be looked after if infected.

        • James, you obviously have no fucking clue about the health system and how a virulent infectious disease can run through it. No clue at all.

        • James rekins “85,000 cancer treatment pushed back according to the Govt from lockdowns!”

          That’s bullshit whatever figure you insert.

          They were pushed back because of Covid in the community. Because of clinical risk to patients and others in the system. The risk was from covid. Not “from lockdowns”. Hospitals aren’t terrified of lockdowns. They’re terrified of bugs.

          It’s not just cancer patients, I personally had cardiac surgery delayed last year.

          Earlier I mentioned organ transplant. The entire heart/lung transplant long term patient monitoring and maintenance programme is currently disrupted as it relies upon use of a medical residential facility that concentrates dozens of patients who are on powerful immuno-therapy. Covid getting in there would be disastrous both in terms of lives and investment. And that’s just follow up treatment, who knows how the actual transplant programme is coping.

          Your type of ignorance costs lives.

      • You’re right Richard, anything Off White say’s is not substantiated with a shred of evidence, in fact there are so many conspiracies an innuendo, Off White wears a tin foil hat. I could see him on the operating table, “no drugs, you’re just trying to make money from me”.

    • Healthy lifestyle does not necessarily equal an immune response that will protect you.
      Think it was 2009 when H1N1 had been confirmed as being present in West Auckland.
      At the time I was in my mid 30s, my partner was a qualified natraupath, we ate organic, took supplements and I rode my bike 15-20kms each way to work and back.
      I still ended up in hospital for a week or more with oxygen tubes up my nose to help me breathe.

        • Not sure to be honest Bert. I think it’s pandemic status had been downgraded by the time I fell sick as I was simply told that there was a high probability I’d contracted it.
          All I know I was sick as a dog despite being relatively young and having a pretty healthy lifestyle.
          Furthermore I don’t believe Covid is anything like a seasonal flu.
          WHO estimates an average of approximately 250-650 thousand deaths annually world wide from seasonal flu.
          The official death toll for Covid is sitting around the 5million mark. However that figure looks like a gross underestimate when you consider the global Excess Mortality Rates over the last year or so.
          Most countries around the world have seen excess mortality rates through the roof and those numbers are significantly higher than their official Covid death tolls.
          Personally I wouldn’t rely on the official statics nor general good health on this one to make an “informed choice”.
          You might end up with just a sniffle because you are healthy. But you might end up in ICU taking beds away from those who need them for other reasons….or you might end up dead.
          Not worth the risk in my humble opinion.

          • Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I value honest and factual opinions and sadly on this site they are few and far between.
            At the end of the day history and science has created vaccines to lessen the impact of disease. That is undisputed, no matter how hard anyone tries.
            Thank you.

    • Well, in a society where we all chip in for a public health and education system, there are some conditions that come with all that. That is there can be a backlash against irresponsible people who overload or undermine these systems which are designed (for the most part) to benefit society in general. These people don’t understand that we are all carrying one another. Instead they scream that their freedoms are threatened.
      Of course, no system is perfect but that doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water.

    • I’m so I’m so over hearing about people losing their “freedom”. I have a modest business that all but collapsed during the 2020 lockdown. 12 months of hard grind saw my business recover only to be decimated by the latest lockdown and with no hope of recovery. The perspective I hold is I can always start another business. What is light years more important to me is that all of my loved ones are still alive and kicking during this deadly pandemic. We are a long time dead.

      My parents lived in London during the blitz of WWII. They effectively had a lockdown for several years. No Netflix, no TV and full on food rationing. Another thing they didn’t have was whining about losing freedoms after several weeks. I don’t enjoy lockdowns but we have plenty of food, plenty of entertainment, we can go out and exercise all day every day, we can meet up with family / friends as long as we respect the rules. There is also a light at the end of the tunnel as we reach a high percentage of the population being vaccinated. When the new normal arrives, we will enjoy and appreciate things even more after previously taking certain things for granted.

      I sincerely believe there are people in another country that are celebrating all the attention and focus being on vaccines and “freedom”. As long as that continues the attention is not being focused on the origin of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and how much compensation that country should pay the world for the horrendous carnage caused by either their activities or eating habits.

      • Thanks TM for sharing. I’m personally not at the blame phase yet, but appreciate that you might be. I’m at the preparation phase and rallying my country. I’ve seen enough evidence to comprehend that China caused this. I do believe it was accidental at this stage, via lab. However, we have a lot to go through yet as a nation. It sounds like you have means / a way forward at this stage. Most of us don’t. Truly sorry for your losses and pain though. I hope you will stand strong with all of us, as we live, loose and witness alongside you

  5. “People do not have to get the vaccine if they don’t want to, but they will undoubtedly pay the price for it”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have little time for the anti-vaxxers though to be fair they are a broad church, ranging from the deluded to the defenders of personal liberty (and we are told that less than 1% can’t have the Pfizer jabs for medical reasons). But a part of me wonders what price they will pay. The science seems pretty clear on the increased probability of severe sickness and untimely death (especially if you’re over 50 /60 and have some other medical conditions, increasing if even older). But I wonder how many anti-vaxxers are boomers or older. I suspect not so many. Still, vaccination offers a level of protection even for the bullet proof.

    Yes, it is a personal choice. You don’t have to get ‘the vaccine’ if you don’t want to – for whatever reason. It’s a big pain in the arse but those who don’t want to get the Pfizer vaccine should be offered another. That’s the inclusive approach.

    To be sure, loss of freedom will be a big price for those who are uncompliant– its looking like the vaccine passport will play a very big role in regulating what one can and cannot do. For the defenders of personal liberty this is a hard pill to swallow. But more than the loss of freedom it will be the ostracization – between communities, among family and whanau, at play and everyday stuff, at work. This will be the biggest price. Not sure how this is playing out elsewhere, but here in NZ it is likely the unvaxxed, in the minds of many, will become the lepers of the early 21st Century. In the minds of the unvaxxed they will become the victimized. Social divisiveness never ends well.

  6. “If there were longer term effects, we would know by now”.
    I totally disagree no one has had this vaccination and is still fine and dandy after 5 years.

    I am deeply opposed to 5G, GMO and where possible buy organic veges if I haven’t grown them myself.

    Have you any idea how many things are endlessly sprayed to make production cheaper. Potatoes once a week along with most apples and numerous other things.

    Chemical thinning of apples is now a regular thing. Once it starts to fruit and has too many fruit to all grow to regulation size, the tree is sprayed with a chemical that makes it think it is dying, it sheds lots of little apples and then a week or so later it is sprayed to bring it back to life. Revolting stuff!

    I have had the vaccination, THE VERY FIRST VACCINATION OF ANY TYPE IN MY LIFE. But I remain respectful of those who have decided not to have one. We are not a dictatorship yet.

  7. ‘I agree with these people that the vaccine is not as effective as one would like to see.’ – Dr. Liz Gordon.
    What else the flat earthers have been saying will turn out to be true.

    Goal posts a shifting.

    Still not a mention of Uttar Pradesh.

    Apartheid-21 brought to you by Covid-19.

  8. As Jesus Christ went about healing the sick and said to his followers to do the same, then, those who would deny others the vaccination are in fact antichrist.

  9. “As for Mr Poole, Ms Goudie, Mr Tamaki, Mr Te Kahika and all the other ‘leaders’ who …”

    Myth Makers 2020 – 2023. Come 2023 onwards they will become more discredited and more irrelevant as each day passes, Amene.

  10. Ever since the c19 virus raised it’s head we have been told the apocalypse is on the way. Death, destruction, plague and devastation is nigh.

    I’m still waiting,

    How many people have died from the virus in NZ that did not already have serious health conditions>?

    How many people get the virus and it amounts to little more than the seasonal flu?

    You really have to ask yourself: why all the hysteria? Who is driving all this fear and panic and why?

    I have no plans on getting the vaccine as I simply see no need to, I will take my chances with the laws of nature

  11. “I have also begun to get the feeling that people’s opposition to the vaccine precedes, in most instances, their attempts to explain that opposition.”

    Essentially always. Particularly so in matters that require denial or nay saying of the scientific consensus. Anti vaccination, anti water fluoridation, anti climate science, anti GMO etc.
    It’s quite comical to watch the denier justifications switch and jump around as they’re systematically demolished by the science. Even more hilarious is to see such people constantly cherry picking scientific anomalies and outliers in an effort to make their and crank objections ‘sciency”.

    • If you think that’s funny try the ‘brexiteer bob’n’weave’ or the ‘donny is ordained by qanon’ twist’n’shout….it’s a bit much when politics is funnier than any nz on air lame-o alleged ‘comedy’

  12. Egomaniacs need attention and adulation from their supporters in the same way the rest of us need water and food. Tamaki couldn’t give a monkey’s toss about your “freedom”. What he hates is being prevented from holding his large church gatherings that he craves and feed his ego.

    It saddens me that churches are often ground zero for Covid outbreak clusters. They are invariably bereft of appropriate leadership when most needed during a pandemic and instead become rampant with Expert-Novices on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Perhaps these “Men of God” were epidemiologists and virologists prior to distributing Tithing buckets on Sundays moments after the usual motivational speech that any door-to-door vacuum salesperson would admire.

    To better understand the sort of logic involved, you need look no further than the toothless parishioners happy to share their new found wisdom on Covid with the TV cameras at the recent TEP = Tamaki Ego Protest. One said “God” would prevent him from contracting Covid, another said “God” would save him if he did get the virus. The little speeches I found most fascinating came from the troglodytes that are not only experts on Covid-19 and the Delta strain but have also obviously spent decades studying Vitamin C. According to them, Vitamin C will prevent them from getting Covid. Really? You do know that ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that is excreted via urine and can’t be stored by the body in significant amounts so is therefore 100% redundant in a battle against SARS-CoV-2 ? It’s the equivalent of bringing a feather duster to a gunfight.

    Where do these folk obtain such advice on life saving treatment of a deadly virus during a pandemic? Give yourself a chocolate fish if you answered, the people masquerading as their “leader”.

    These easily duped folk are in desperate need of a new teacher. Tamaki himself has become a very dangerous individual far worse than just a ego manic wannabe Gangster. If you’re not going to lock them up, you must redress the balance via education. Get full PPE gear on and witness the daily events in both NSW and Victorian ICU’s. These scenes will be repeated here in NZ before Christmas. Teach him about the inner workings of SARS-CoV-2 and exactly what’s in the vaccine and how it works in the body. Teach him also just how dangerous misinformation is on the topic. Tamaki and expert-novices just like him have a responsibility that they are epically failing at. The consequences on a percentage of people can so easily be fatal. Will manslaughter charges then follow? If you give a person incorrect or dangerous life threatening advice / instruction and they die as a result, does that legally constitute manslaughter?

    • As for the recommendation of vitamins (C, D, Zinc), you can watch the video on YouTube from the MedCram series the one about how to boost your immune system.

      • Vitamin C is an asset to the human body. Only a fool would argue against that fact. It is however totally inadequate as a primary tool in the battle against SARS-CoV-2 due mostly to it being water soluble and the body not being able to store enough of it to make a meaningful difference. If a person had all the possible Vitamin C onboard was to stand shoulder to shoulder with a Covid positive carrier, the Vitamin C it would not prevent the subject from contracting Covid. As I stated previously, a feather duster in a gunfight.

        Vitamin D is a different matter. Earlier in 2020 I noticed the number of subjects in USA black communities contracting Covid was disproportionate to other ethnicities. As you will know, coloured skin is unable to absorb Vitamin D in the same levels white skin can and the situation in the States was unfolding in their winter months where Vitamin D levels would be at their lowest. Dr John Campbell, a nurse educator in the UK spoke of this and I also read a Johns Hopkins University study on the subject. It wasn’t lost on most people that when Covid arrived in Australia and NZ we were in our summer. Our hospitalizations and deaths compared extremely favourably. There is obviously more to the equation than just Vitamin D but I’ve read enough on the subject to believe it’s almost certainly a factor.

  13. Please note – in my email to Dr Gordon – I did not state my vaccine status. I handed in my teacher registration because I do not believe teachers should be set against each other.

    • At the beginning the Government talked about the option: vaccination or testing. As we know that the vaccines do not prevent infection and transmission wouldn’ t it be better to insist on rapid alergen tests for all teachers etc. than on vaccination passports?

      • We have asked for this to be available. We have not had any questions answered. It is far more important to know of staff are sick that if they are vaccinated.

    • How does a Government Mandate set teachers against each other? If people don’t meet the requirement, they won’t have much support in attacking those that do. From your comment it sounds as though you wanted to get out of teaching anyway and found a dubious moral stance as cover.

      • I thought it was about individual choice. You are choosing to hand in your teacher registration, others haven’t right? You are choosing this because you believe this is setting teachers against each other, such is your right. I’m sure there are teachers out there whom disagree and will keep their jobs for the good of the children, such is their right.

        • Of course. That is my point. One of our registered teachers had a very bad blood clotting problem in the two days after her first shot. She is fully advised not to have the second shot. On government policy she will set aside her career. I will not personally ask any teacher about their medical record. This is a long standing principle – not about their sexuality, not about when they may choose to have a family ….

          • More BS? (https://www.1news.co.nz/2021/06/09/new-study-finds-no-association-between-covid-19-pfizer-vaccine-and-blood-clots/) What a bugger that the rare exception happened to be a colleague. The blood clot of course will not prevent her teaching as there are, according to the Government, non-contact possibilities that may be available such an exceptional case exists. That is of course, if the clotting was attributable to the vaccine (see link above).
            Furthermore, claiming proof of vaccination is hardly disclosing one’s medical records. And why the deflection with the irrelevant dross about sexuality etc.?

            • Hi. Not BS on the blood clotting. Auckland hospital fully attributed it. Your suggestion re alternatives have not been confirmed by the Minister. Many schools & ECEs have staff leaving. It will, of course, have higher impacts on poorer school as wealthier ones offer conditions incentives.
              There are range of things to be avoided in interview questions – medical situations is one of them.

            • Perspective on Vaccines is being lost and in many cases, deliberately so.

              As a pro vaccine contributor in the debate, I’d be the first to say there are risks with any vaccine but this is where perspective is being lost. Are you comfortable taking paracetamol or giving it to your children? The vast majority of people would answer yes including every hospital….yet it can cause liver failure and 150 people die from it every year. ……..yet we don’t see protests about paracetamol.

              I wish we didn’t need Vaccine mandates but the spread of misinformation has let to big numbers refusing to get vaccinated. If a person refuses to get vaccinated during a Pandemic I’m cool with it…..until they decide they want to continue teaching our children or working on the border or travel on aircraft with other passengers or go to concerts or sporting events or bars etc etc. Then their choices are forced upon others who decided for their benefit and for the greater good to get vaccinated. I don’t want my sacrifice and calculated risk to be diluted or extinguished by the mindset and actions of the unvaccinated.

              There is little doubt that the vaccine is Gold in the Covid battle. The calculated risk aspect is huge. The risk of not having the vaccine is enormous. By comparison, the risk of having the vaccine based on the numbers that have it onboard without issue is akin to a splash in the ocean.

          • would you ask if they had typhus, cholera etc etc etc… you’d employ an unvetted peado then…do leave it out.

            taking care of kids trumps freedumbs

        • I am very happy for them to disagree – of course. The teacher unions have long fought for unity among teachers. I think there are very few who will be openly negative but there are a good number who will simply walk away – teachers and teacher aids. Ultimately the worst affected school will be those where students can afford it the least. The vast majority of schools in Auckland where students are sitting Cambridge or about to sit NCEA exams are decile 8- 10. We are further embedding inter-generational disadvantage.

          • If the anti-vax teachers and support staff walk away, one could expect that the average IQ of the teaching profession would be much improved. This is demonstrated by the low quality research and intellectual rigour demonstrated by those who claim teaching associations on this topic on TDB.

            • I am not sure you understand the sector at all. ECE jobs are low paid. There are plenty of other options given the lack of migrant workers in industries that have relied on them. Teaching is and aged profession. 35% are over 50 and many are currently working and are past retirement. A significant number are not the primary income earner or are in situations where they do not need to earn a full salary. The current form of teaching – and what it looks like with the path the government is taking is not working well and not the conditions many signed up for. It is by no means only those choosing not to be vaccinated, or not to declare their status (an option on the Ministry form – as it legally has to be) – who are walking away.

    • There are always going to to be those for and those against any move that directs people to do something but when the edict is done to protect vunerable children there cannot be any arguement . Over 3 million people in NZ have been double vaxed and billions World wide so it is a long stretch for some to say it is an experimental drug .
      I would hesitate to make vaxination compulsory but I want to think that those not vaccinated are teaching my grandchildren especially those under 12

  14. I have to say, doctor, that to refer to them as leaders?! However, I know they have followers so I guess…fair enough. Personally I wouldn’t give them the status but the reality is that some people, unfortunately, follow them.

  15. I am genuinely frightened by the approach of this government, and for the first time I wish I had a second citizenship in another country.

    History will not be kind if it is found that there is something seriously wrong with the vaccine. Possibilities include damage to the innate immune system so that when given a subsequent vaccine (the study I’m thinking of used the ‘flu vaccine) your body may not mount a response, and cancer which is possible due to the 3 ingrediants not previously used in a vaccine before.

    Good luck with whatever approach you choose. Know that however much of an arse you are to the unvaccinated, even if it’s not their fault they can’t take it, I will be praying for you all.

    After assisting/supporting people battling ACC, Work and Income, and MoH in getting any kind of support I don’t like the chances of getting much other than fobbed off if we end up with a widespread and serious illness caused by these vaccines.

    • Z and other religious roadblocks, we’re dealing with the immediate threat right now, Covid. Tomorrow’s “may or may not be” cancers will be dealt with by whoever is left healthy enough to do so. Crying won’t help ya and praying won’t do you no good, as the song goes. The govt is doing what it can to prepare for the crisis at the doorstep. It ain’t perfect and there’s plenty of issues there that lot’s of us want to do something about fast. But, there’s little time for that now, because we’re preparing for war on a fucken tricky virus. Get on board and help us all help eachother, or get out of the fucking way. Contemplate the words “heal thyself” and the spirit of real tangible love. “You can tell them by their fruit” means by your actions. Doing nothing is not fruitful. Please get vaccinated

    • Maybe you should raise your points with a specialist. We all have opinions but once we have a closed mind on an issue, our world will not move forward.

  16. One of the biggest issues I’ve seen during the battle against Covid is that it’s headed by politicians, especially the push to get vaccinated. This has been a blunder. In the United States, an estimated 40% of the population is regarded as Anti-Vax. That’s approximately 130 million people. Politicians are among the least trusted group in society so having them front the Covid response / vaccination push was an accident waiting to happen. The arrival on scene of the vaccine corresponded perfectly with the arrival of the Expert-Novice and the huge increase in misinformation on SARS-CoV-2.

    Who you vote or don’t vote for also comes into play. Ardern is a lot more popular than Collins. Where would our vaccine numbers be if Collins was the PM? Both should be removed from the vaccine topic in my opinion.

    I’m very much pro vaccination and voted for Ardern. Having said that, I find it nauseating that she keeps repeatedly force-feeding vaccinate vaccinate vaccinate onto people. How about trying educate, educate, educate instead? We should be using the medium of Television in this all important battle which must be fronted only by health professionals. Show documentaries in every language. Explain and show exactly what happens to the human body when it’s under attack from Covid. Show autopsy photographs of the lungs especially. Answer every question raised about the vaccine from how it was constructed, what’s in it, what it does to the human body, what it doesn’t do. Leave no stone left unturned. You won’t need to tell people to get vaccinated once you’ve educated them. Why are we so comfortable to relentlessly use the Television with confronting images to lower the road toll yet won’t use the same medium in the Covid battle? We don’t generally see a lot of misinformation about the road toll. Get the debate on the airwaves in plain view.

    I must admit to also feeling somewhat bemused by the inconsistent approach from the PM. During the 2020 referendum on Cannabis, she was as quiet on the topic as a church mouse. That is despite the importance of the subject, the amount of misinformation being spread via Television and her own obvious support for changing the law. She didn’t want to use her influence on such an important subject, instead preferring to let folk make up their own mind. I appreciate Cannabis isn’t life and potential death in the same way Covid is but her inconsistent approach hasn’t gone unnoticed.

  17. Blimey. Isn’t that response interesting – how divided we are on these things? Thanks all for interrupting your long weekend to respond (or perhaps you were all bored with the long weekend?).

    • Actually not that divided at all. Media, government and business all in lockstep actually. Helped on by a whole lot of brown shirts against a dwindling minority. What could possibly go wrong?

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