Covid and our Kiwi Kids – Cranmer 1/15/23


Prime Minister Ardern claimed that when making decisions relating to vaccination ‘our No. 1 priority is the medical advice of our experts’ but how accurate was her claim?

Covid is a controversial and emotive topic. People hold strong views often based on bitter or difficult personal experiences. In the midst of the pandemic there were no perfect solutions but experts and officials worked under intense pressure to provide their advice to government. A broad array of recommendations covering numerous issues needed to be synthesized into coherent pandemic policies for approval by Cabinet.

My intention is not to second-guess the science or the decisions made by experts but to examine what recommendations were made by the relevant technical committees and then compare those with how the government decided to act and how those actions were presented to the public by the Prime Minister, the former Director-General of Health, Dr Bloomfield and others.

I will refer to the minutes of relevant Cabinet and committee meetings which are publicly available. Those documents demonstrate that key recommendations made by the government’s technical experts were not implemented in relation to:

  • increasing the dose interval between the first and second dose from three weeks to at least eight weeks for the under 30s in order to reduce the risk of myocarditis; and
  • permitting the under 18s to have only one dose for the purpose of workplace mandates.

In addition, there is clear evidence in the official documents that it was agreed that references to increasing dosing intervals as a method of potentially providing some protection against myocarditis should be removed from public communications.

Finally, there are unanswered questions about why CV TAG spent months planning to recommend the vaccination of ‘high risk’ 12 to 15 year olds only to abruptly change its mind without explanation three days before the relevant Cabinet meeting….

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