Booster boost comes better late than never

Today’s decision on Covid booster shots is positive but overdue, says National’s Covid Response spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“I have been raising the issue of Covid booster shots for months now and on August 22 Dr Bloomfield said that discussions were at a ‘crucial stage’. It has taken the Government until mid-November to provide clarity about the pathway forward.

“I get daily emails from border workers, doctors, nurses and older New Zealanders who are worried about their Pfizer vaccine effectiveness waning. New Zealand started the vaccine rollout in February, so many frontline border workers are already beyond the six-month point for their second dose.

“Today’s announcement will be welcomed by many people but they will also wonder why it’s taken so long, given many other countries have already started their booster regime.

“It is good the Government has seen sense and given up on the idea of Novavax as a booster.

“Novavax may yet be approved here, but it has only been approved in one country and it has not been tested as a booster. It was always a risky strategy to rely on Novavax as a booster dose, so it is good the Government has seen sense and confirmed a third dose of Pfizer.”