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Lockdowns or vaccines? NZ, Australia, Japan try diverging paths

94 Comments
By NICK PERRY, MARI YAMAGUCHI and ROD McGUIRK

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94 Comments

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Oz and NZ both gonna clarify if masks and lockdowns work. So far so bad in terms of the zero covid approach.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

But Suga said lockdowns have been flouted around the world, and vaccines are “the way to go."

I agree!

-11 ( +18 / -29 )

Japan needs to make a decision. Vaccines or Lockdowns. As of now they are doing neither. The path forward is not looking good...still.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

I bit of a pointless article - Japan is lawfully not able to impose lockdowns so it was never an option for them anyway.

19 ( +28 / -9 )

What these people will eventually realize with regards to a highly contagious mutating respiratory virus is:

Lockdowns don’t work

Experimental Vaccines don’t work

The next leap in idiocy will occur when the Pfizer vaccine is granted approval (out of EUA) as its efficacy drops below 40%, the other vaccines are still dispensed under EUA (which they shouldn’t be), the hospitals fill with a majority of vaccinated Covid patients, boosters are promoted that are ineffective, and vaccine side effect victims mount.

This has been a complete public health debacle since it started. Unfortunately, the fear being promoted coupled by an embarrassingly flat learning curve by a blinkered public hasn’t helped.

This is a Pandemic of the Vaccinated.

Maybe Japan will figure it out.

-12 ( +22 / -34 )

Japan needs to make a decision. Vaccines or Lockdowns. As of now they are doing neither. The path forward is not looking good...still.

51 percent for at least one jab is not bad at all.

New Zealand had focused too much on locking down and they shot themselves in the foot when it comes to vaccinations...

I'd rather be in Japan that over there...

9 ( +22 / -13 )

Of course vaccines are the way to go, but if you can’t do something to protect your citizens until they’ve been vaccinated then you’re going to see more deaths than are necessary. Compare NZ and Sweden. 26 deaths in a population of 5 million is a far better result than 14,000 in a population of 10 million. People love to bash NZ for its strategy which has been wildly successful so far. Lockdowns were never a permanent solution but have worked incredibly well until this point. The real failure was allowing people to rush back from Sydney quarantine free after Sydney had their outbreak. That was stupid.

15 ( +26 / -11 )

NZ were too slow with vaccinations yes - but they are now vaccinating at record daily rates and unlike Japan, they have no shortages of vaccines. About 24% of their population is fully vaccinated and they are vaccinating around an additional 1%/day - lest see how they compare in 6 weeks - I think you will be surprised.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Strange and irrelevant to try to describe an "Australian" approach. Every state is different.

Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and the Northern Territory have had about 20 people die between the lot of them. Is only really New South Wales and Victoria who have had any issues. Comes down to message and how much people care about each other really.

Both New Zealand and Australia have been slow to vaccinate because governments did not want to pay the early premium prices for Pfizer. That was a mistake and now some parts of Australia are paying for that especially South West Sydney.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

The world average vaccination rate is 24% and NZ is at 34% and accelerating (more than 75% of elderly are vaccinated).

The govt has set up mass drive-in vaccination points around the nation.

Also, the article suggests that NZ is choosing lockdowns rather than vaccinate which is not the case at all; it's a combination of both.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Zero Covid was always a dumb policy position. Year and more of lockdowns and masks and huge social dislocation been a waste of time and effort. Covid is here to stay and we need to stop being hysterical about it and start being practical. And following actual new scientific information rather than screeching "the science" to suit a political position.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

DocToday  07:11 am JST

What these people will eventually realize with regards to a highly contagious mutating respiratory virus is:

Lockdowns don’t work

Looks like you skipped over the part of the article that clearly states how lockdowns have worked exceptionally well (in NZ in particular) at saving lives and getting people's lives back to normal.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

New Zealanders have yet to learn that we will will have to live with Covid-19 just as we have with various strains of influenza for centuries. It’s not as deadly as Ebola.

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

Lockdowns or vaccines? NZ, Australia, Japan try diverging paths

Well, looking at the uselessness of Japan's SOEs (read: urging the public to refrain / restraint themselves which has now completely fizzled out) and the abysmal failure that the vaccine-rollout has been from start up to now, it is obvious that the "path" that Japan has chosen is...doing none of both...

Japan is unfortunately the casebook study case of the worse you could do and should be avoiding at all costs.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Elsewhere around the Pacific, though, Japan is resisting such measures in the face of a record-breaking surge, instead emphasizing its accelerating vaccine program. And Australia has fallen somewhere in the middle.

This article is a master class in trying to present false dichotomies. Japan"s vaccination accelerating? From 2 to 4 in 5 months?

If Japan had really prioritized vaccination over lockdown (with the Olympics they certainly had the incentive to do so), why are vaccines still not widely available and people are waiting weeks and months?

Ardern has been steadfast.

“We have been here before. We know the elimination strategy works. Cases rise, and then they fall, until we have none," she said. "It’s tried and true. We just need to stick it out.”

The case of NZ has so often been cited as one of success becuase lockdowns successfully almost eliminated infection cases and broad-based economic relief was also successful in reducing the associated economic misery.

In Japan: economic relief almost exclusively for big business and capital owners, no lockdown but a general depression of economic activity affecting a wide range of industries with workers who have received no assistance, rising suicide rates and economic distress and record high infection rates. The worst of both worlds.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Japan is not doing the vaccine strategy. If they are doing the vaccine strategy, normal people would be getting access. Yet, many cities have not yet sent out the vouchers, and of those who did, most do not have appointment openings.

Besides some of the people here either living in elite areas or trying to make the national government look good, who actually knows somehow who managed to get a shot?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Japan surely isn't doing lockdowns, but NZ not vaccinating? And Australia diverging from these "two paths" how?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Three countries with different culture, different laws, and different availability of vaccines. Of course they each are dealing with COVID differently.

Kiwis are willing to trust their govt more than Aussies or Japanese, perhaps that is a historical difference?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A very good article and contribution, not only the detailed comparison. Btw the problem solution is a bit hidden but clearly recognizable included in the text above. Great. Now let’s see if someone can read and understand it.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I bit of a pointless article - Japan is lawfully not able to impose lockdowns so it was never an option for them anyway.

New Zealand also can not lawfully impose lockdowns but they did it anyway.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Wake up all of you!

The world faces a common enemy that acts 24 hours a day. How is the world reacting? In a disunited manner.

The virus is not going to go away for many, many years, you have to get used to it.

Vaccines are not THE solution.

Containment is not THE solution.

Masks are not THE solution.

And so on.

It is with a mixture of all this that we will have to live from now on.

The return to life as it was before the arrival of the virus is utopia.

Humanity must adapt to nature, it has always been like that.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Can't figure out how to unquote! The comment above about NZ not lawfully being able to impose lockdowns was me.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Monty

But Suga said lockdowns have been flouted around the world, and vaccines are “the way to go."

I agree!

Yeah right on ya weeboo...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'm sure few will understand this while most will take longer to accept it.

To simply put it. It is simply about the economy.

Japan simply cannot afford to shutdown nor lockdown.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yesterday we had this.

New Zealand concedes 'COVID zero' strategy no longer viable as Delta outbreak grows

https://japantoday.com/category/world/new-zealand-queries-virus-approach-as-delta-outbreak-grows

But it looks like they are sticking to their xenophobic country closure!

Now I am known for being quite left on the socialist scale but this is to much for me

“I’m happy to go into lockdown, even though I don’t like it,” said Simpson, owner of a day care center for dogs that is now closed because of the precautions. She said she wants the country to crush the latest outbreak: “I’d like to knock the bloody thing on the head.”

Are these people not connected to world news? Delta has tossed the playbook out the window.

If 3 years ago I asked to name a country that controls their citizens movement, that no non citizens can enter or leave and even the citizens need special permission to leave and return, most here would say North Korea.

Now as the same question and we have at least 2 countries.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Kiwis are willing to trust their govt more than Aussies or Japanese, perhaps that is a historical difference?

Kiwis more sheepish than Japanese?

Not in this case.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Kiwis are willing to trust their govt more than Aussies or Japanese, perhaps that is a historical difference?

Kiwis more sheepish than Japanese?

There's a reason why so many countries are broken in the modern day and age, and it's people thinking that trusting one's government is "sheepish".

Trusting a trustworthy government is smart. Not trusting an untrustworthy government is smart. Thinking government by default is something that cannot be trusted is not smart.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Lockdowns or vaccines?

The problem is that these are the only solutions they are considering. It's time for all three countries to kick out all decision makers and scientific "experts" advising them, and replace them with more competent and honest people.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

It's time for all three countries to kick out all decision makers and scientific "experts" advising them, and replace them with more competent and honest people

Yes, Ardern should be thrown out, even though she won by a landslide democratically in the middle of a pandemic for which her policies were extremely popular, some people in other countries really don’t like those policies, so the government of NZ should be overthrown, and she should be replaced with someone that right wingers from other countries think is appropriate.

I’m with you!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

AntiquesavingToday  09:56 am JST

Yesterday we had this.

New Zealand concedes 'COVID zero' strategy no longer viable as Delta outbreak grows

https://japantoday.com/category/world/new-zealand-queries-virus-approach-as-delta-outbreak-grows

But it looks like they are sticking to their xenophobic country closure!

Now I am known for being quite left on the socialist scale but this is to much for me

“I’m happy to go into lockdown, even though I don’t like it,” said Simpson, owner of a day care center for dogs that is now closed because of the precautions. She said she wants the country to crush the latest outbreak: “I’d like to knock the bloody thing on the head.”

Are these people not connected to world news? Delta has tossed the playbook out the window.

If 3 years ago I asked to name a country that controls their citizens movement, that no non citizens can enter or leave and even the citizens need special permission to leave and return, most here would say North Korea.

Now as the same question and we have at least 2 countries.

Ah, yeeeah, I think there are sliiiightly different motivations for the NZ and North Korean border control policies though (i.e. one is to subjugate and control lives, the other is to save lives - I'll let you figure out which is which) so it's a bit like comparing apples to bananas, isn't it. :)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

 It’s not as deadly as Ebola.

actually Covid is worse than Ebola, yes Ebola is far more contagious but it kills you very quickly so a lockdown would contain the spread far better for Ebola than Covid.

the main worry is that if covid continues it will mutate into even more contagious strain. Being Asymptomatic for longer gives people more time to spread the virus. why do you think AIDS has killed over 70million people worldwide

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

But it looks like they are sticking to their xenophobic country closure! ...

3 years ago I asked to name a country that controls their citizens movement, that no non citizens can enter or leave and even the citizens need special permission to leave and return, most here would say North Korea.

Now as the same question and we have at least 2 countries.

Hmmm. I wonder what is different between now and three years ago. It's not as if there's a global pandemic or anything. Interesting to note that the current outbreak in NZ is a result of them trying to open the border, but don't let facts get in the way of your opinion.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

NZ didn't choose a strict lockdown because it has has a choice. It doesn't. NZ hospitals, which already have long waiting lists for non-essential surgery, would be completely overwhelmed within 3-4 weeks if the Delta virus was just let loose. Even with a level 4 (highest) lockdown hospital capacity will be stretched. The lockdown allows a window of time to massively ramp up vaccination and it has also, so far, spared the south island and many rural parts of NZ of any cases. NZ may not be able to eliminate the virus this time, but the lockdown strategy will enable them to avoid an ongoing surge and catastrophic loss of life that is slowly unfolding elsewhere.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan is finally hitting its stride on vaccines. Batter late than never. Clearly outpacing AS and NZ (by double as far as %). They will pass the US in the next 2-3 weeks and quickly chasing down the UK next. At some point the daily rate will slow but there has been little sign of that so far.

Australia and NZ can keep their lockdown strategy on their own islands. The cure should not be worse than the disease.

Keep the schools open and allow small businesses to provide for their families. Get the shots, they work well.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

3 years ago I asked to name a country that controls their citizens movement, that no non citizens can enter or leave and even the citizens need special permission to leave and return, most here would say North Korea.

The problem with people of lesser intelligence, is that they create false equivalencies.

NK and NZ are equivalent. Only the lowest of intelligence would consider this a comparison that is not entirely ridiculous.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

nonu6976Today 07:21 am JST

NZ were too slow with vaccinations yes - but they are now vaccinating at record daily rates and unlike Japan, they have no shortages of vaccines. 

It's a big difference if you need to vaccinate 126 million people in Japan or 5 million people in New Zealand.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Lockdowns or vaccines? NZ, Australia, Japan try diverging paths

Is Japan trying a path?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

StrangerlandToday  10:43 am JST

3 years ago I asked to name a country that controls their citizens movement, that no non citizens can enter or leave and even the citizens need special permission to leave and return, most here would say North Korea.

The problem with people of lesser intelligence, is that they create false equivalencies.

Thanks I will let my ASD savant level daughter know this, so she can ponder your overwhelming intelligence while she works on her project on a super computer.

I say this because it was also her observation.

Ah the minions will to sacrifice their capabilities of individual thought for the collective,

We are the Borg resistance is futile, isn't that how it goes in NZ and NK?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

YohanToday  10:59 am JST

nonu6976Today 07:21 am JST

NZ were too slow with vaccinations yes - but they are now vaccinating at record daily rates and unlike Japan, they have no shortages of vaccines. 

It's a big difference if you need to vaccinate 126 million people in Japan or 5 million people in New Zealand.

Not necessarily, it depends. The US vaccination programme was rapid and they have twice the population of Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Looks like you skipped over the part of the article that clearly states how lockdowns have worked exceptionally well (in NZ in particular) at saving lives and getting people's lives back to normal.

If you look at continental data where most of humanity lives ( and not on an isolated and sparsely populated island), lockdowns have not worked. In fact, Covid infections have been higher than average in the majority of these locked down places.

As for your expectations of things returning to normal in NZ under a government pursuing a zero Covid policy: Good luck.

You’ll die of old age before normalcy returns. Even under 100% vaccination.

Just another example of a flattened learning curve from a nation whose main industry is producing sheep.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Japan is finally hitting its stride on vaccines. 

What are you talking about? Appointments are full in majority of wards with exception of elite neighborhoods such as minato, and many cities have not yet even sent out vouchers for young people. Majority of the normal people have zero chance of getting a vaccine within this year.

If anything, vaccines are being withheld to the general public with utmost effort to ensure as few people as possible can access the vaccines.

The government vaccine numbers are obviously lies, I know of no one under age of 65 not living in elite areas such as minato having able to get a vaccine or even an appointment, with many still waiting for vouchers, which will likely not arrive within this year either.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

These articles assume that there MUST be a solution to covid. Very rarely if at all is it suggested that their may be NO solution to covid. Thus, quarantine the sick, vaccinate the at risk, explore treatments like ivermectin, Ronapreve, etc. and move on with life. We either choose freedom over fear or we all give up and what kind of life is that? If you want the government to control every aspect of your life via some shaky medical pretext, you don't deserve to be in control of your own life. Sorry to say.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan is still relying on the vaccine to pull them out of the crap. The vaccine does not stop the spread of the virus. It only means fewer people will end up in the ICU on a respirator. It’s gonna be a long haul for Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If you look at continental data where most of humanity lives ( and not on an isolated and sparsely populated island), lockdowns have not worked. In fact, Covid infections have been higher than average in the majority of these locked down places.

False conclusions because you keep getting confused between cause and effects, scientific reviews have clearly concluded that lockdowns and other social distancing measures do reduce the spreading of COVID and protect countless lives from unnecessary deaths. Places where the spreading made necessary these kind of costly measures can't be compared with places where other factors (like isolation, low population density, complete obedience of the population to requests, etc.) controlled enough the spreading without the need for the most aggressive measures.

So no, it is not that lowdowns produced heavier impact from the pandemic, places with the heaviest burden by the pandemic were the places where it became easier to justify costly measures like lockdowns.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@jeffb

Well stated and exactly on point.

And for those that do not understand, then be ready to kiss the normalcy you have always known, Goodbye.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

letsberealisticToday  11:39 am JST

YohanToday  10:59 am JST

nonu6976Today 07:21 am JST

NZ were too slow with vaccinations yes - but they are now vaccinating at record daily rates and unlike Japan, they have no shortages of vaccines. 

It's a big difference if you need to vaccinate 126 million people in Japan or 5 million people in New Zealand.

Not necessarily, it depends. The US vaccination programme was rapid and they have twice the population of Japan.

The USA started vaccinating months before because of supply and Japan's slow approval process.

NZ approved the vaccine and even it's government stated it wasn't in any hurry to vaccinate.

Let's look at something just a bit closer.

The province of Quebec 8.4 million people has vaccinated 75% of it's population in the past 7 days administered over 400,000 doses and this is the tail end of the campaign.

New Zealand is at 2.7 million doses 32% at least one dose and according to the government website it is now finally approaching 300,000 a week 5 weeks ago it barely made it over 120,000 a week and it hasn't even reached 50% of the population.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So no, it is not that lowdowns produced heavier impact from the pandemic, places with the heaviest burden by the pandemic were the places where it became easier to justify costly measures like lockdowns.

You need to study and increase your understanding on how lockdowns impact your health and negativity affect your immunity to illnesses.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

If you look at continental data where most of humanity lives ( and not on an isolated and sparsely populated island), lockdowns have not worked. In fact, Covid infections have been higher than average in the majority of these locked down places.

It didn't work in other places, so they shouldn't do it in New Zealand, where it has worked. Good argument.

As for your expectations of things returning to normal in NZ under a government pursuing a zero Covid policy: Good luck.

Which is why it's good that they have said if it doesn't work this time, they will adjust their strategy.

You’ll die of old age before normalcy returns. Even under 100% vaccination.

Despite the fact that they've emerged from all previous lockdowns, and plan to start reopening the border next year.

Just another example of a flattened learning curve from a nation whose main industry is producing sheep.

Meat and wool make up a small percentage of the agriculture/horticulture industry. But I get it. Sheep jokes are funny.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And they'll all end up following the U.K model eventually.

So given the population of these countries, deaths will be anywhere from 10 to 200 a day, with NZ at the low end and Japan at the high end. The U.K is averaging about 100 deaths a day with a pop of 60 million. But I think Japanese are on average more healthy, far less overweight, but they are also, on average, older than Brits.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The province of Quebec 8.4 million people has vaccinated 75% of it's population in the past 7 days administered over 400,000 doses and this is the tail end of the campaign.

Good for Quebec. Too late for the 370,000 cases and 11,000 dead though.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The only effect of giving power lockdown to the government is to receive "more lockdown and more restriction on your freedom", can't believe someone in his right mind asking for it. Lockdown...osusume only if you have vested interests or holding shares of a digital business or want to see your small competitors on their knees, to avoid at all cost !!!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

People who spout "...control of [one's] own life..." do not seem to realize that they are actually talking about the lives of others who they may well infect with COVID with their 'freedom'. It's becoming ever clearer that Delta has found a work around to the current vaccines and is riding along with the 'free' unmasked but 'vaccinated' individuals and are the cause of Delta's rapid spread among the yet unvaccinated and, here in America, we are seeing increasing fatalities from Delta among the doubly vaccinated. The claim is that the vaccination fades after time but it is more likely that this highly variable virus is finding the narrow range of antibodies elicited by current vaccines only a spur to further variation and a range of new variants. And the 'unvaccinated' are being falsely accused of causing 'surge' but really are just the victims of silent carriers who value their personal 'freedom' more than responsibility. Keeping one's spittle, which is released in every exhalation or word spoken, to oneself, contained in a mask, is the BEST way to ensure that one is not responsible for inadvertently and unknowingly killing another.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

RiskyMosaicToday  12:07 pm JST

The province of Quebec 8.4 million people has vaccinated 75% of it's population in the past 7 days administered over 400,000 doses and this is the tail end of the campaign.

Good for Quebec. Too late for the 370,000 cases and 11,000 dead though

Use Googled, did you?

Most death happened long before a vaccine and most happen in a group of elderly care homes run by an unscrupulous family that hid what was going on and with staff left without resources or help.

Many died for neglected, this has little or nothing to do with vaccine rollout or lockdown.

But nice try

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Most death happened long before a vaccine

Same in NZ.

a group of elderly care homes run by an unscrupulous family that hid what was going on and with staff left without resources or help.

Many died for neglected,

Not same in NZ. They care about each other.

this has little or nothing to do with vaccine rollout or lockdown.

Therefore depriving you of a point.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Australia, New Zealand, Japan...

What about Taiwan, also another island, where the situation is better than Japan ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kiwis are willing to trust their govt more than Aussies or Japanese, perhaps that is a historical difference?

and thats probably to do with NZ having one of the least corrupt governments in the world.

https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2020/index/nzl

5 ( +5 / -0 )

RiskyMosaicToday  12:25 pm JST

Most death happened long before a vaccine

Same in NZ.

Therefore depriving you of a point

Not even close.

The point was NZ glacially slow vaccination program making Japan's look like it was lightning fast.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And they'll all end up following the U.K model eventually.

Follow the "UK model", eh?

UK death/mill 1928. Current Deaths 131,640

JPN death/mill - 124. Current Deaths 15,596

AUS death/mill - 38. Current Deaths 984

NZ death/mill - 5. Total Deaths 26

Nope.

They won't be "following the UK model".

2 ( +4 / -2 )

You need to study and increase your understanding on how lockdowns impact your health and negativity affect your immunity to illnesses.

You have presented zero scientific evidence that lockdowns have any impact on immunity that would be reflected on COVID infections, much less that this supposed effect is more important than the very clear benefit obtained from the measures. Asking people just to believe you are right and the experts that demonstrated the benefits from the distancing measures is not a valid position, the weight of the evidence is completely against you.

 It's becoming ever clearer that Delta has found a work around to the current vaccines and is riding along with the 'free' unmasked but 'vaccinated' individuals and are the cause of Delta's rapid spread among the yet unvaccinated

There is no evidence that vaccinated people are in any way a bigger source of infections compared with unvaccinated people, more like the opposite. All people that abandon social distancing measures are spreading the disease, but unvaccinated people are still a bigger risk.

The claim is that the vaccination fades after time but it is more likely that this highly variable virus is finding the narrow range of antibodies elicited by current vaccines only a spur to further variation and a range of new variants. 

This is contradicted by the evidence, variants have not appeared in vaccinated people, on the opposite all examples available come from communities that have not been importantly vaccinated. And the theory that antibodies produced against the vaccine are more likely to produce variants is not based on reality, because incomplete neutralization of the virus is still an advantage when compared with the complete lack of neutralization from naive infections.

Making up explanations not supported by the evidence is bad enough, but explanations explicitly contradicted by the available evidence is much worse.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What about Taiwan, also another island, where the situation is better than Japan ?

Taiwan currently has fully vaccinated just 3% of their total population.

They are sadly one major outbreak from disaster. Surprising for such a medically advanced nation who were previously leading the world in dealing with Covid.

Is it possible they simply have no vaccines?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The point was NZ glacially slow vaccination program making Japan's look like it was lightning fast.

I've never been anything but critical of New Zealand's slow vaccine rollout. However, you said Quebec's much higher number of deaths had nothing to do with vaccines.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

New Zealand has minimal role to play in terms of international trade and economy. It is an archipelago, far away isolated from the majority of the world's population! Japan, however, is just a few hours away from China, a country with more than one billion people. It is home to nearly 120 million people who in one way or another is connected with the rest of the world. Can we say the same thing to the 5 million kiwi population? SO why compare NZ's strategy to that of Japan's? The huge economic responsibility of Japan to run their country is hundred or thousand times bigger than agricultural and service-oriented NZ. Don't compare apples to cats.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you live in Japan you can clearly conclude that Japan's approach is far superior to both NZ and Australia. Vaccines came on late but since June they are on a world leading daily pace. We have been able to move freely, socialize with whoever we please, and keep our businesses open.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan is finally hitting its stride on vaccines. 

What are you talking about? Appointments are full in majority of wards 

You're confused, full bookings is indication that it's operating at max /near max capacity

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RiskyMosaicToday  12:51 pm JST

The point was NZ glacially slow vaccination program making Japan's look like it was lightning fast.

I've never been anything but critical of New Zealand's slow vaccine rollout. However, you said Quebec's much higher number of deaths had nothing to do with vaccines

And it doesn't !

What part of those deaths came long before the vaccine was even invented do you not understand?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If you live in Japan you can clearly conclude that Japan's approach is far superior to both NZ and Australia. 

Ignoring the illness and, you know, deaths.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Frankly New Zealand has outperformed Japan and most other nations throughout the pandemic. Through the use of short term, decisive and severe lockdowns, most New Zealands have enjoyed a greater amount of time living 'normally' or much closer to it than the perpetual SoEs and half measures here over the last year and a half. Furthermore, its response has to date been highly effective from a public health perspective, greatly limiting deaths. And the economic impact has likewise been roughly the same as most other nations, if not less in many cases thanks to the domestic stimulus engendered by 6 months of 0 cases. Finally, I am confident that faced with a mutated strain, NZ has a far greater chance to make appropriate changes to its strategy to deal with it as opposed to the government here.

Ultimately, we will not know who 'won' (as this article and most posters before me seem to imply is the point) covid until the end of this pandemic.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's becoming ever clearer that Delta has found a work around to the current vaccines and is riding along with the 'free' unmasked but 'vaccinated' individuals and are the cause of Delta's rapid spread among the yet unvaccinated and, here in America, we are seeing increasing fatalities from Delta among the doubly vaccinated. The claim is that the vaccination fades after time but it is more likely that this highly variable virus is finding the narrow range of antibodies elicited by current vaccines only a spur to further variation and a range of new variants. And the 'unvaccinated' are being falsely accused of causing 'surge' but really are just the victims of silent carriers who value their personal 'freedom' more than responsibility.

Exactly, many make up explanations unsupported by evidence accusing the unvaccinated of being responsible for the emergence of variants while the available evidence is crystal clear that many of these variants emerged because vaccines were administered during a pandemic. When someone gets a vaccine, if they get infected before they can produce good antibodies (this takes time), this will favor the appearance of variants able to breakthrough the vaccine-induced immunity. It's like treating a bacterial infection with a very very low antibiotic concentration and very gradually increasing it, thus favoring the appearance of antibiotic resistant mutants. Vaccination against one partial protein clearly does not offer as good protection as does a natural infection.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What part of those deaths came long before the vaccine was even invented do you not understand?

Wow. The part that means Quebec's deaths which occurred before the vaccines have nothing to do with vaccination speed, but New Zealand's do.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

RiskyMosaicToday  01:36 pm JST

Are you on something?

I ask because you are all over the place making no sense and bringing up things that are not related.

Ok now go back lock your door and the world may see you sometime in 2023 if New Zealand doesn't again change its mind and remain closed.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Without massive vaccinations, it’s like playing whack-a-mole.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Are you on something?

I wish. No. I just get confused when you can blame NZ's vaccination rate on deaths that occur before the vaccines were invented, but not Quebec's.

Most death happened long before a vaccine

Same in NZ.

The point was NZ glacially slow vaccination program making Japan's look like it was lightning fast.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@nonu6976

In the UK there was also no law for lockdowns. It was one of the first things the UK parliament did right at the begining. There was a draft ready for pandemics and they added some new clauses, debated it amongst the MP's for a week and had a vote. The UK legislation also had an end clause so they in reality voted three times to keep the lock-down laws in place.

The only reason that lock-downs happened in the UK was because the kneeler told his party to not vote either way and as the tories have an 80 plus lead any tory opposition was also scuppered. There was a chance on the second round for it to be stopped but that time the kneeler party helped the tories.

There was a lot of trickery from the people of SAGE to push it through on slim evidence but once it was done there was no rowing back and the UK ended up effectively in lock-down for a year.

What I would like to happen in the future is for SAGE to include economic health experts and some lay people. The current system prevents good decisions being made. The other thing I would like is those who advise the government to be prevented from speaking out on the media. The UK was full of scientists spouting their own personal views which is fine if they are independant but when they are billed as part of the government advice it add credence to them.

The Japanese government have been slow to do anything and they have basically had a year of grace compared to other countries. I think most of that was because they were forced to have a sports event and it was impossible to nudge the public in the right direction with that going on.

I also think that sars2 did not start in China and was already endemic to Japan in one form or another and that is why it was not until it mutated several times around the world that Japan actually started to have a problem. I would not be surprised if the Japanese government knows that. Having said that tin-hat theory I acknowledge there will be no time in the next 100 years that the records of such being released so it a mute point that can not be proved.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lockdowns or vaccines?

In New Zealand and Australia, it's not an either or. It's lockdowns when the virus is in the community and vaccinations until a high (~80%) of eligible people are vaccinated.

Kaerimashita

Zero Covid was always a dumb policy position. Year and more of lockdowns and masks and huge social dislocation been a waste of time and effort.

You keep saying that and yet fail to recognise how successful the policy position has been. NZ has 5 deaths per million. Tell me a country of 5 million or more population that have come close to that. Japan has 25 times the number of deaths per million.

William Bjornson

... here in America, we are seeing increasing fatalities from Delta among the doubly vaccinated.

No you aren't you are seeing increasing percentage of people vaccinated dying the virus because more people are vaccinated. But sure, the vaccines are less effective against the delta virus, it is still the best way to avoid serious illness.

Raw Beer

When someone gets a vaccine, if they get infected before they can produce good antibodies (this takes time), this will favor the appearance of variants able to breakthrough the vaccine-induced immunity. It's like treating a bacterial infection with a very very low antibiotic concentration and very gradually increasing it, thus favoring the appearance of antibiotic resistant mutants. 

No. That is not how the science works. Vaccine != Antibiotics

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You're confused, full bookings is indication that it's operating at max /near max capacity

No you are, it means the government NEVER supplied the vaccines to the majority of the population. They leave 1000-2000 spots per week for propaganda purposes, not to mention the millions of people who have not even received their voucher.

I cannot get access to vaccine, and I know of no one under age of 65 and not living in elite area able to get access.

The vaccine appointment sites crash every time it opens, and when it finally can load it just gets full. It makes you wonder if those appointments ever existed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lockdowns or vaccines? Japan is definitely taking a different path with 'Go to Travel', 'Go to Eat' and then two international sporting events.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually, Australia just hit 30 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated today and is picking up pace in a slow but steady fashion. It's on track to secure target set by the Doherty Institute of 70% by around November 3rd and 80% fully vaccinated by late November. Could have had it sorted well before that time frame but the federal LNP government PM Morrison "it's not a race" vaccine rollout and supply procurement blunder has cost us big time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Exactly, many make up explanations unsupported by evidence accusing the unvaccinated of being responsible for the emergence of variants while the available evidence is crystal clear that many of these variants emerged because vaccines were administered during a pandemic.

Interesting way to criticize something just to do it in the same sentence, there is exactly zero evidence that variants appearance is in any way related to vaccination, and plenty of evidence of the opposite, trying to imagine scenarios that contradict the evidence available is not an argument, just an attempt to mischaracterize your personal theory as if it had any basis on reality, it has none.

When someone gets a vaccine, if they get infected before they can produce good antibodies (this takes time), this will favor the appearance of variants able to breakthrough the vaccine-induced immunity.

False and unsupported completely, there is no evidence whatsoever that this happens, because this explanation has a very obvious problem, people without vaccines need even longer time to let viruses adapt to the slowly increasing natural immunity, which completely contradict the faulty reasoning.

At this point it is completely clear that variants have appeared in unvaccinated populations, and even wide distribution in vaccinated populations have not resulted in any variants being identified. This reality is enough to understand your theory is mistaken.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

the available evidence is crystal clear that many of these variants emerged because vaccines were administered during a pandemic.

Said no peer-reviewed science, ever.

You realize that the Delta variant arose in a place that didn't have the vaccine when it emerged, right?

Oh wait, your statement above shows you clearly didn't know this very relevant (since it wrecks your argument) point.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@AntiquesavingToday  09:56 am JST

Yesterday we had this.

New Zealand concedes 'COVID zero' strategy no longer viable as Delta outbreak grows

https://japantoday.com/category/world/new-zealand-queries-virus-approach-as-delta-outbreak-grows

This was from a reporter in the UK who was bashing NZ's covid stance was not factual "Fake News" why do you think Japan Times closed comments after only 40...

Also to say it was 1 covid is an understatement there are 35 new cases of Covid-19 in the community on Monday

0 ( +2 / -2 )

These articles assume that there MUST be a solution to covid. Very rarely if at all is it suggested that their may be NO solution to covid.

That's because most people studying the medicine on it feel there is likely a solution. Look at the past year and a half, we've already largely mitigated the rate of death and even of effects. And that's in just a year and a half.

With the amount of progress they've already made, it's a not unlikely extrapolation to think that at some point, they'll figure out the right medicine to stop it when it starts, which will let us move on as normal.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

 It’s not as deadly as Ebola.

Really? In the 2014 - 2016 outbreak in Africa:

Two and a half years after the first case was discovered, the outbreak ended with more than 28,600 cases and 11,325 deaths.

Link: https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/history/2014-2016-outbreak/index.html

11,000 deaths over 2.5 years. Very sad. But its like peewee league compared to the major leagues where Covid is playing ball.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@strangerland

Maybe you need to understand the meaning of the word dealy in this context.

Personally I would feel quite safe walking into my local supermarket with no mask if I was told that five minutes earlier someone with known covid had been shopping. If someone with Ebola had just been in the shop not only would I not want to enter I would be go strait home and order my whole life from Amazon until the supermarket was wiped down and left for two weeks.

Ebola is easy to catch and easy to kill. That is why when there is an outbreak it is actually easier to contain. Everyone in the area dies.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It's very enjoyable reading the "google" experts on here go back and forth.

Anyway, never mind me, carry on as you were.....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe you need to understand the meaning of the word dealy in this context.

You don't think the number of dead is an indicator of how deadly it is?

Um...

Ebola is easy to catch and easy to kill. That is why when there is an outbreak it is actually easier to contain.

Being easy to contain makes it much less deadly than Covid.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Lockdowns don’t work and make people ill in different ways

For those living alone it is like solitary confinement, a punishment usually handed out to disruptive prisoners

This link shows some interesting points, particularly the possible harm to the children.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-have-pandemic-lockdowns-affected-the-immune-system#Older-children-and-immunity

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Nator - Ebola is extremely deadly if one becomes infected. But Ebola is far less transmissible than Covid. This is why Covid has spread globally and Ebola remains an extremely rare infection by comparison.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Follow the "UK model", eh?

UK death/mill 1928. Current Deaths 131,640

JPN death/mill - 124. Current Deaths 15,596

AUS death/mill - 38. Current Deaths 984

NZ death/mill - 5. Total Deaths 26

Nope.

They won't be "following the UK model".

Most of the U.K deaths were before vaccines and before delta. Im talking about the current U.K approach post vaccines.

Only NZ has any chance to avoid outbreaks. And that is very doubtful if they want to interact with the outside world in any significant way, because again, its a democracy, there limited in what harsh measures they could put in place in terms of confinement.

Unless you are prepared to go really hard and put cases under house arrest to prevent them from leaving their homes, the few that do venture out will be enough to keep having outbreaks. Thats the reality of it. You only need 10 people among 100000 to do the wrong thing and outbreaks will keep happening. In a country like Australia you can bank on a very small minority to ignore the rules and without permanent police/army guard it cant be prevented.

And of course Japan has never had a proper lockdown and already has 20,000/30000 cases a day

It is absolutely going to go that way in any democracy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The UK has basically vaccinated enough people for the economy to open up and life is basically back to normal.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Have to feel sorry for most parts of the world where there is neither lockdowns nor vaccines.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Xamurai

 SO why compare NZ's strategy to that of Japan's? The huge economic responsibility of Japan to run their country is hundred or thousand times bigger than agricultural and service-oriented NZ. Don't compare apples to cats.

It gives people something to argue about.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it will just confirm that the media is indeed censoring anything that doesn't align with the approved narrative...

I've read about the efficacy of Ivermectin in multiple sources. Google shows lots. Are they telling you that it's being censored? Whoever is telling that to you is either lying or hasn't bothered to check themselves.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Matt Hartwel

Follow the "UK model", eh?

UK death/mill 1928. Current Deaths 131,640

JPN death/mill - 124. Current Deaths 15,596

AUS death/mill - 38. Current Deaths 984

NZ death/mill - 5. Total Deaths 26

Nope.

They won't be "following the UK model".

Most of the U.K deaths were before vaccines and before delta. Im talking about the current U.K approach post vaccines.

OK. Follow the UK model, but not the one we started with because that was cr#p.

Follow the one we are doing now.

Oh crap we still have 30,000 new cases a day and 100 deaths / day....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sheesh - 100% chalk and cheese discussions.

NZ was forced to the back of the queue re vaccines - we had them ordered but suppliers in Europe reneged on their promises to fulfil orders because NZ was not of high risk. This is the reason why NZ has lagged behind in vaccinations a. medical experts considered that the 300,000 received weren't enough to achieve mass coverage of the populace and were instead given to frontline medical workers, etc and b. those ordered were never delivered as requested.

Success in a zero-covid policy was a double-edged sword (not a katana obviously), and the fact that Japan has access to increased vaccines shows what the world's suppliers think of its domestic policies to bring the virus under control (for the muppets: they have not and continue to not work).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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