No Minister

Crunching the vax stats

One of the many reasons I support other bloggers is that they take the time to dig into issues that most journalists simply don’t have either the time or the skills, or perhaps the inclination, to do (sometimes all three apply).

So I think an analysis of NZ vaccination rates done over at Croaking Cassandra by blogger (and former Treasury economist) Michael Reddell is worthwhile looking at. He has crunched the numbers on vaccinations by age, and it doesn’t look good for the 65+ crowd:

None of the elderly age bands have yet got to a 90 per cent second dose vaccination rate, and only one (the 80-84 group) has got to 95 per cent for even a first dose. And these people have had months.

Moreover, he points out that those MoH figures come from their “Health Service User population” (HSU) counting, which is likely not as good as the population numbers from Stats NZ:

the key point is that both for older ages (65+) and the the 12+ population as a whole, the HSU appears to undercount the population by 3.5 per cent. All else equal then, vaccination rates are a bit overstated.

So when he runs the numbers against the SNZ population counts he gets this:

Another key point that comes from this is the simple observation that if the population most vulnerable to this virus (and you would think the most frightened), is not getting vaccinated at the claimed target levels of the government, what chance for younger age groups?

The bigger shock will be when people, especially older people, start dying of Covid-19 again as the lockdowns are eased, whether by deliberate government action or a slow, simple collapse in compliance:

I gather this might be news to Wellington, but Auckland is angry. Auckland is over this lockdown.    

Compliance is way down. The streets are busy. People are breaking bubbles outside cafes.  More than thirty people played a game of touch in mt roskill.  We’ve had reports of people having parties at their houses.  And that’s just what ends up in the papers.  

I really feel like the mood is changing. 

At least in our neighbourhood that’s been the case for weeks now, when our family observed numerous teenage “get togethers”, by kids who’ve simply hit the wall of hormonal urges. Naturally we haven’t snitched on them. The number of idiots wearing masks outdoors has dropped way off as well.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 30, 2021 at 3:01 pm

2 Responses

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  1. An interesting comment over on Kiwiblog:

    I would take those figures with a grain of salt. When we (aged 77) went for our first vaccination they clearly lost all record of us, so it took about four weeks before we could persuade them to let us have a second dose. At the time they recorded our NHI numbers.

    Given the strains our system is under in IT and management even during normal times that news does not surprise me at all. Still, we can only work with the numbers we have.

    Tom Hunter

    September 30, 2021 at 3:36 pm

  2. I am a bit skeptical of the level of variation that Michael Reddell says he has found between the population statistics and the HSU statistics.

    Quite clearly the government is using the population statistics when it refers to 78% for NZ as a whole and 83% for Auckland. Obviously this is for one jab, but I think it is reasonable to assume that just about everyone who gets one jab will get two. These figures line up with the population statistics being used by the Herald in their various graphics. In short I think the 90% will be achieved (or at least very close to 90%), and in fact has been achieved for those over 65.

    Obviously there is a big challenge for younger people and for Maori. Earlier in the week the Herald had a very good graphic, divided on race, region and age. Though I guess since you eschew MSM you are unaware of this graphic.

    Going by the worldindata daily figures, it is clear that New Zealand is moving upon the scale of vaccination rates. We are significantly ahead of the US (no surprise there), ahead of Germany and will soon catch the UK. If we get to 76% of the total population, that will be the same as Canada, Denmark and Norway. Each of these has hit 90% of the eligible population. Surely NZ can do as well as Canada.

    I am also a bit brassed off by the likes of Hooton suggesting a relatively early date (1 Dec) and a relatively low percentage (80) to open up. Very pakeha centric. It takes no account of the importance of reaching younger Maori and rural Maori, which will require an intensive iwi led effort.

    I also was not pleased that National nominated 85%, certainly not at this stage. There is a medical consensus, govt consensus and the NZME campaign to get to 90%. It seemed to me to be actually disloyal to be nominating a different figure in the middle of the campaign. A bit like a company in a battalion deciding it would not follow the CO’s orders. If it turned out that 90% was unachievable within a reasonable time, then a review might be reasonable. But it is way too early for that.

    Wayne

    October 1, 2021 at 8:18 am


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