New Zealand set a 90% vaccination target on Friday to end its lockdowns, while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiled a plan to open despite the stubborn grip of the Delta variable.
“We looked at all the evidence, spoke to experts, modeled our situation and set a goal of 90% complete vaccination for every health district in New Zealand.”Jacinda Ardern told reporters on Friday. “We can’t ask vaccinated people to stay home forever”It added, by shifting its goal of eradicating Covid-19 completely to reduce its spread in the community through ramping up vaccination.
About 86% of eligible New Zealanders received their first dose of the vaccine and 68% were fully immunized.
Jacinda Ardern has received widespread praise for her initial response to the coronavirus, which included strict containment measures, strict contact tracing and strict border restrictions. Its “Covid Zero” policy has only killed 28 people out of five million people, and life has been near-normal for long periods of time. But the prime minister said the strategy was no longer viable due to the highly contagious delta type discovered in Auckland in August. “Its tentacles have reached our communities and it is difficult to get rid of them, even using the best public health measures and the strictest restrictions available to us.”She said.
Ms Ardern said the new policy would give hope to the nearly two million residents of Auckland who have been under strict restrictions for nine weeks. “If you want summer, if you want to go to bars and restaurants, get vaccinated”, did she say. “If you are vaccinated, you will be able to enjoy the things you love, and make sure that the people around you and the environment in which you find yourself are as safe as possible in the world of Covid”, she added.
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