On the anniversary since the COVID-19 pandemic was first declared globally, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is calling for a fair and equitable distribution of vaccinations here and overseas.
“The Government has done a fantastic job of keeping COVID-19 largely out of New Zealand, and we welcome the release of the schedule for the vaccine rollout.
“We must make sure that the vaccine is as equitable as possible, prioritising most at risk of contracting the virus and/or being seriously harmed by the virus because of age, disability or underlying health conditions.
“I’ll be seeking assurance from the COVID-19 Response Minister that workers like teachers, bus drivers, or hospitality workers, who have underlying health conditions or are immune-compromised will get quick and timely vaccination.
“There will be New Zealanders who fall into that group who will be glad that they now know roughly when they will be vaccinated, but will be really stressed that as category three they will need to wait until May for protection.
“I will be exploring with the Minister whether there will be extra provision to ensure at-risk New Zealanders who have to work in the community can be vaccinated as soon as possible.
“The Green Party are also once again calling on the Government to support calls by India, South Africa and other nations to ease trade rules that would make sure COVID-19 vaccines are affordable to Developing World nations.
“Receiving the vaccine should be a basic human right for everyone in the world no matter where you live, we must make sure every country is able to access a vaccine fairly and equitably.
“The sooner populations across the world are vaccinated, the sooner we will all be safe.”