This information has been put together by local health professional Dr. Robin Youngson, supported by Dr Mike Loten from Raglan Medical. Dr Robin Youngson brings a broad perspective to these issues as a doctor (retired anaesthetist), a trauma therapist here in Raglan (Havening Clinic), and a former healthcare leader that helped create the national frameworks for healthcare quality and safety in NZ.
KEY INFORMATION about COVID-19
- COVID will likely spread to every corner of our nation in the next few months
- Delta spreads fast: Victoria went from 57 cases/day to 1427 cases/day in just six weeks – despite lockdown (Victoria population 6.6million,COVID daily cases from Aug 18th to Sept 29th)
- Immunity from vaccination is slow: if you have a first dose tomorrow, it will take five weeks to get full immunity (two weeks after second dose)
- Young adults get sick: 42% of people admitted to NZ hospitals with COVID are age 20-49 (126/297 cases) *
- Kids rarely get sick, only 2% of hospital admissions are age 0-9 (6/297) and those are mostly kids with pre-existing disease
- COVID is a nasty illness: one third of adults who get COVID will still have symptoms six months later
- The Pfizer vaccine will reduce your chance of getting seriously ill or being admitted to hospital by 90% for at least six months after vaccination; long COVID is less severe
- Our healthcare system will be rapidly overwhelmed if vaccination rates are not 90% or above (Victoria currently has 609 patients in hospital, 126 in ICU)
- Delta will spread rapidly and the disease will be more severe in communities where there is poverty, crowded housing, poor access to healthcare, and low vaccination rates – we need to act swiftly to prevent this tragedy.
- We will be in lockdown until the vaccination rates are much higher than present
What happens when the healthcare system is overwhelmed?
- Hospitals will be overflowing, in crisis, and many other conditions will be untreated
- ICU beds will be unavailable for patient who get severely ill or injured
- Thousands of health professionals will be sick or in isolation leading to severe staffing shortages
- Almost all routine care including cancer care and elective surgery will stop
- Your local medical centre may be closed
- You may have to wait hours for an ambulance
- Many people will die of conditions other than COVID because they can’t get treatment
- NZ only has 284 fully staffed ICU beds and these are 80-90% full already
Why can we be confident the Pfizer vaccine is safe?
- NZ has a world-leading system for collecting and openly reporting all adverse events in healthcare – led by fully independent clinicians
- More than 5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in NZ
- ‘Adverse events’ are reported and carefully analysed on a weekly basis –
- no new safety concerns have been reported
- ‘Adverse events’ include all those who get sick or die in the days after a vaccine, almost all unrelated to the vaccine.
- On average 109 people die, and 3,300 are admitted to hospital each day in NZ for illness or injury; by chance, many will have just received a vaccine dose and are reported as ‘adverse events’
- The medicine in the vaccine is eliminated from the body within hours (half is gone within 8-10 hours) – only the immune response remains
- There is no virus in the vaccine
- The vaccine cannot change our DNA
* Official Ministry of Health statistics, updated regularly
* Victoria Health Official data
* Medsafe COVID vaccine safety report