Simon Bridges accuses COVID-19 modeller Shaun Hendy of using 'scare tactics'

The AM Show 24/09/2021

WATCH: This week Simon Bridges & David Parker join The AM Show to discuss the 90% vaccine target and Shaun Hendys 'scare tactic' COVID projections.

Bridges stated he doesn't think we need scare tactics to get people in this country vaccinated, siting valid criticism of the numbers that even at 80% vaccinated we could have 7000 deaths & 60,000 hospitalisations per year.

"There's been a lot of debate, including from Rodney Jones who I rate as an eminent, internationally-renowned modeller" says Bridges.

"I think we should try for 90 percent… we should go for that," said Bridges, echoing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

"I do worry about the realism though. In the end we should do everything we can, but we can't [wait until] 2023 for example, stay shut down and locked up. In the end in a free democracy people are ultimately - even if we think they're all wrong - free to decide these things. I think everyone should get vaccinated, but the truth is, some won't." 

It is understood that if every single person who is booked in for their second shot shows up for it - we would be hitting a target of around 69 percent. That is not including anyone new getting vaccinated.

David Parker let slip some more concrete goals from the government this morning... saying at 90% is when we can have our freedoms back and people can travel and get back to 'the new normal'.

"We've deliberately never set a target and I'm not doing that today… you might characterise it that way. Lots of my colleagues have acknowledged that if we get to 90 percent vaccination we can reopen, and we can reopen safely. 

"A few months ago people were saying our target should be 70 percent… we're up over 80 percent first doses in Auckland now. It's going well, but we've got to get that last 10, 15 percent."

Catch The AM Show every weekday from 6am on Magic Talk & THREE.