In this report, the authors make recommendations to enhance safety during the current outbreak, reduce the costs of new outbreaks that emerge, and enable New Zealand to open as much as is possible, as safely as is possible.
At-school vaccinations should be provided to those aged 12-18, particularly at schools serving communities with low vaccination rates. This should begin immediately as Auckland’s schools re-open. Parents could be welcomed to be vaccinated with their children.
That non-mRNA vaccination options be made available to encourage vaccination among those hesitant about mRNA vaccines.
That MedSafe moves in parallel with the FDA in assessing vaccines for those under 12, with New Zealand not being slower than authorities abroad to approve. FDA approval for 5-12 year-olds may come as early as end-October 2021.
That the Government prepare to distribute vaccines at primary and intermediate schools as soon as vaccines are approved for younger age groups.
That MedSafe ensures any appropriate variant-specific boosters that might be developed are assessed expeditiously so that they can be quickly ordered. Government should quickly signal intent to purchase effective Delta-specific booster shots, conditional on their development and approval.