Ryan Bridge: What if Delta comes back in a month? 'We're still sitting ducks'

The AM Show 25/08/2021

OPINION: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reckons us Kiwis are living in a cave, primates huddled around the campfire singing kumbaya, praying Delta will leave us alone.

"Any state and territory that thinks that somehow they can protect themselves from COVID with the Delta strain forever, that's just absurd. New Zealand can't do that, they were following an elimination strategy - they're in lockdown.

"COVID is a new, different world, and we need to get out and live in it. We can't stay in the cave."

He's basically saying the dream of zero Delta we're so eagerly chasing is a pipe dream. Elimination won't work - except that our Government's best health advice reckons we can and must seek elimination.

A panel of experts chaired by Sir David Skegg recommended elimination as the best health and economic response.

Our Prime Minister says vaccines save lives and we need to have as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. 

But here's the problem for Jacinda Ardern. 

What if Delta comes back in a month? We beat this outbreak, we smash it down, stamp it out - then it sneaks back into the country, another border failure. Then what?

Right now, 60 percent of this country is unvaccinated and only one in five are fully jabbed. We're a bone dry pile of wood waiting for a bonfire, we're still sitting ducks. 

So I asked the Prime Minister yesterday whether we'd buy more. Listen:

"We don't need more vaccine."

She reckons we've got enough vaccines on order and everybody will have a chance for a jab by Christmas.

Christmas is a long time away - plenty of room for Delta to land again.

So why doesn't the Prime Minister tell us what percentage of the population will be vaccinated by September, October? Will we hit 80 percent by November, providing people want it?

Surveys say the majority of us are keen.

I just hope we all get the chance before the inevitable happens - and Delta returns to attack us cavemen. 

Ryan Bridge is filling in on The AM Show.

Magic Talk.