To push the plans to end the lockdown, New Zealand has set the 90% COVID 19 vaccine target.
New Zealand has planned to end its strict coronavirus lockdown measures. However, it has targeted to reach 90% of the population with full vaccination before it can carry out its plans. This was revealed on Friday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Currently, only 68% of eligible New Zealanders are fully vaccinated while 86% have had one dose. Ardern remarked that reaching the 90% vaccine target at every District Health Board in the country would make New Zealand one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.
Speaking at a news conference in the capital, Wellington, Prime Minister Ardern said “Ultimately we have balanced the desire to re-open quickly while continuing to keep people safe.”
Ardern also noted that when the vaccine target is reached, the country will begin to operate with a new traffic-light system, which will be used as a guide to manage the virus outbreaks. The system will use three settings – green, orange and red – to manage fresh outbreaks and cases.
“Fully vaccinated people will be able to reconnect with family and friends, go to bars and restaurants and do the things they love with greater certainty and confidence. Instead we have the vaccines to create a level of safety and armour, and there will be much more predictability,” she continued.
Among OECD nations, New Zealand is said to have the tightest pandemic restrictions. However, with the new systems being put in place, the country is set to begin loosening restrictions as soon as possible. Since the pandemic began, the country of 5 million people recorded 28 coronavirus related deaths and 2,389 total number of cases.
According to authorities, the virus spread will continue to rise until vaccination numbers increase. Judith Collins, opposition National Party leader, has said the “hurdle” of 90% vaccination leaves the populace in New Zealand at the mercy of indefinite lockdown.
Collins said “It is great we now have 86% of Kiwis who have had at least one dose. But the reality is this last 4% will be the hardest to achieve.”
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