John Elliott: Selfish anti-vaxxers are endangering lives

Unfortunately, the internet produces as much rubbish as it does useful information.

Which person would you rather believe, someone who had recently read two or three blogs about the dangers of getting a vaccination jab, or an epidemiologist with 30 years experience, including 10 years as a University Professor?

Vaccination levels against Covid-19 are still too low in New Zealand. There are reportedly 20-25000 over 65s in Auckland still not jabbed at all.

Rates among Maori and Pacifica peoples are much lower. Many of these people are vulnerable if they catch the virus. Too many people, through poverty and poor housing, have underlying health issues that make them targets for Delta. Many of those Maori and Pacifica are also sometimes over influenced by fundamentalist Christian sects.

I understand that three National Party MPs remain unvaccinated - Maureen Pugh (Westland), Simeon Brown from Pakuranga, and Simon O’Connor from Tamaki. O’Connor is Bridges brother-in-law and religious. Brown is by report religious too. They are certainly setting a poor example for their constituents. I understand they will get vaccinated.

I expect there are Labour MPs unvaccinated, maybe Act too - the libertarians.

I hope these all set an example for their own good as well as the team of five million, because as of today just 56 of every 1000 people in the 12-19 age group and 93 per 1000 of the 20 to 45 age group are fully vaccinated. That’s about 5% and 10% only.

Vaccinations against more than 20 life threatening diseases worldwide saves millions of lives. The World Health Organisation says vaccination prevents two to three million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza, and measles/rubella.

Remember what happened when measles hit Samoa last year. Tragically a number of children died. Vaccines do protect against measles.
WHO has a global strategy to leave no one behind. Anti-vaxxers should note their three aims:

1. Save lives and protect the health of populations.
2. Improve productivity and resiliency.
3. Enable a safer, healthier, more prosperous world.

WHO says between 2010 and 2018, 23 million deaths were averted with the measles vaccine alone. Typhoid, cholera,and meningitis have now got reliable vaccines. The WHO stresses that vaccination is the key to global health security.

If you know an anti-vaxxer please talk to them. Ask them to follow the science, not some self appointed guru online. It is endangering us all.

Compulsion is becoming a big part of the argument. Can people be banned, or should they be, from bars, nightclubs, or work places if they are not vaccinated? Human rights lawyers are looking at these Bill of Rights questions.

I think of it a bit like driving. We’ve seen these ads on TV “my car, I do what I like with it”, but only until the police stop him. Then for his own safety, and that of others he is prosecuted.

I will be asking people, known or unknown, on certain occasions, “are you fully vaccinated?”, those who are not
I will keep at a distance, and probably not allow in my home. I believe there is a law which prohibits a person with HIV from having sex with somebody without revealing they are HIV positive. The same should go for Covid-19 vaccinations.

So, I’m for no jab, no job, no jab, no night club, no jab, no work at the border ...etc etc etc.

With 90% plus of all New Zealanders vaccinated we can keep Delta at bay, but just like no one wants cholera, polio, or other now controllable diseases, we shouldn’t have to plead with anti-vaxxers. Isolate them for their own good and also for the good of the team of five million. (JOHN ELLIOTT)

Published 1 October 2021