Covid 19 Delta variant: Doctor gives Northlanders sober vaccination warning

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17 November 2021 People will be able to travel to or from Auckland from 15 December if they have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or have tested negative. Today, there are 194 cases of Covid-19 in the community, and one more person died with the virus.

Northland emergency doctor has issued a warning to the people of Northland – Aucklanders are coming with Covid and that may not be pleasant.

Concerned Northland emergency medicine specialist Dr Gary Payinda begs people to get vaccinated before it’s too late, and says the political decision to lift the Auckland border in mid-December will come at a cost to people’s health and lives.

He tweeted, “To my Whangārei and Northland patients, especially the tangata Whenua: December 15 is the time when Auckland will empty to Te Tai Tokerau. It brings Covid.”

“By mid-January, people who don’t need it are very likely to die. Put on your mask inside. And get your first vaccination by December 1 at the latest, so you have at least some protection. Protect your Whānau.”

Payinda, who works as an emergency room physician at Whangārei Hospital and is the medical director of Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, told the Herald that she tweeted specifically out of concern when Northland’s vaccination rates were low and dangerously coming to Māori.

With only 83 percent of the eligible population receiving their first dose and 73 percent fully vaccinated, Northland has the lowest vaccination rate in the country.

He blamed poverty, misinformation and lack of access to vaccines for creating a “perfect storm” that has caused incredibly low vaccination rates in the region.

Despite the protections the government says are in place to protect more vulnerable communities like Northland, Payinda believed that when Auckland’s border was lifted on 15 December, presenting a negative test or beating twice would not be enough to stop the broad community sprawl.

“If we were serious about protecting rural, remote, deprived and unvaccinated communities, we should have stipulated double vaccination and negative testing.”

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He said his decision to open Auckland until Christmas was political and would come at a price in terms of hospital illness and death.

“Times are starting to get tight and Covid will spread pretty quickly across all of our communities here, especially those who are less vaccinated, those who are farther away, those with less access to care.”

His message to all those sitting on the fence right now waiting to see how it goes is if they have had more than a year to do this and they need to understand that New Zealand is no different from any other country facing Covid and that it will impact a world. Number of people.

Payinda said it wasn’t “wiser” as the vaccine reduced the need for hospitalization and the chance of death by 90 percent. It also significantly reduced transmission.

His own county health board’s January estimates were “not nice” and, although he didn’t explain it for himself, he expected the national numbers to be “several times” higher than the current 200 cases per day.

Northland DHB’s capacity has already been strained for several days and is facing “chronic and established issues”, so adding Covid to the mix will not be something anyone would want, he said.

Northland needed more community-run vaccination centers, and the vaccine needed to be mandatory.

“We missed an opportunity for people to understand that vaccines aren’t just about you, it’s about society as a whole, it’s about protecting us all,” he said.

“The reason we’re holding all these protests right now is because people don’t see the reality of how bad Covid is and how widespread Covid deaths can be when you leave it up to people to decide whether or not to take public health measures.

“Your personal decision not to do anything is great as long as that decision doesn’t hospitalize, hurt or kill others.”

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