The Government has run full-page newspapers advertisements saying, “We have secured enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine for everyone 16 years and over…”
“Secured!” That’s an ambiguous word which I suggest most folk would not unreasonably interpret in this context as actually possessing the vaccine.
Take, “You can come in now. I’ve secured the dog”.
So you enter and are immediately bitten by a free-ranging snarling beast and when you protest, your host says he meant by securing the dog, doing so in four months time.
Which is exactly the situation with the vaccine. For further down in the advertisement it transpires that border and front-line workers excepted, the vaccine for the general adult public, in other words 99% of the populace, will not be available until July, that is nearly four months away.
Plainly the truth is the government has secured, not the vaccine at all, but instead the promise of its delivery in the future.
So by the time we start vaccinating everyone, Britain with its near 70 million people will have completed vaccinating all of its adult population. So too Chile with its 19 million population.
Given Health Minister Hipkins assurance, not once, but twice back in October, that New Zealand is at the head of the queue for supply, plainly that was untrue.
Why then did he say this back then? Almost certainly because his officials told him that was the case.
What riles me about this is not so much the mistaken claim, after all we all make mistakes, but the duplicity and cover-up instead of admitting it.
Confessing to mistakes is always well received and gives confidence of dealing with honest people. In a democracy that’s critical.
For the record, as of today, 4% of the world’s population has been vaccinated.
For New Zealand to be in step, we would have vaccinated circa 200,000 of our citizenry.
This situation is nothing less than scandalous.