The Platform, Summarised by Centrist
Prof Michael Baker, the University of Otago Epidemiologist, appeared on the Platform to discuss the end of COVID restrictions in New Zealand. Baker describes the end of restrictions as decision-making being “devolved” to a wide range of institutions.
Baker maintains that vaccines are still very protective and relatively safe, but offers the proviso that nothing is totally safe and effective. He admits there is a risk of developing myocarditis and acknowledges two deaths have occurred in NZ after approximately 13 million doses have been administered. Overall, he says the benefits outweigh the risks.
Baker argues that “We have a huge amount to be thankful for particularly in the first 18 months“ and says that NZ had less restrictions than any country in the OECD.
Baker thinks we need to describe the consequences of restrictions on the collective psyche. NZ needs to plan for scenarios like pandemics, climate change, armed conflict, etc.
Baker supports the restrictive remit of the inquiry with its ‘forward focus’. The priority is ‘how do we do it better next time’?