At least 95 per cent of eligible Kiwis need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to avoid hundreds of deaths and stop the spread of the Delta variant, an expert says.
Auckland University epidemiologist Dr Rod Jackson appeared on Newshub Nation on Saturday morning, where he called for every New Zealander to get vaccinated by Labour Day.
The Government has previously said at least 90 per cent of Kiwis aged 12 and over needed to get vaccinated to stop the use of lockdowns in future.
But Jackson told Newshub Nation that would not be enough, and at least 95 per cent coverage was needed “unless you want what you see in Australia”, where hundreds have been testing positive each day.
Lifting lockdowns with 10 per cent of eligible people unvaccinated would lead to “brutal” results, he said.
“Are you happy with thousands of people in hospital, hundreds of people dead, [or] one in three people with long Covid? I mean, just how brutal do you want to get with this?”
Jackson said vaccination was a “complete no-brainer” and there was “nothing else in our tool kit” that would provide as much protection.
“I can reel off places where there are well over 95 percent of people who are vaccinated.”
The latest figures from the Ministry of Health show 78 per cent of the eligible population has had one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, while 46 per cent are fully vaccinated, with two doses.
Everyone over the age of 12 in New Zealand is eligible to receive the vaccine, regardless of immigration status.