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PM's chief science advisor: Could be two years before we can stop thinking about Covid-19

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor says “we’re a long way from out of the woods in terms of vaccine coverage” and that could hinder plans to reopen New Zealand’s borders.

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The PM’s Chief Science Advisor says “we’re a long way from out of the woods in terms of vaccine coverage” and that could hinder plans to reopen NZ’s borders. Source: Q+A

Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard told Q+A that exactly how the Covid-19 pandemic will be brought to an end is “something that is keeping a lot of people awake at night”.

She says the uneven distribution of vaccines around the world is a real challenge.

“If we want to open up for travel and some parts of the world haven’t been vaccinated then that’s going to present logistical challenges that are unseen as yet.”

Dame Juliet, who has recently been reappointed as the Prime Minister’s Science Advisor for another three-year term, told Jack Tame that New Zealand is keeping a close eye on international developments.

“Israel is the one that we’re watching really closely. [They] have got really good coverage with the Pfizer vaccine, they’re just starting to open up so we can see how that goes, but we’re a long way from out of the woods in terms of global vaccine coverage so [it] could be a couple of years at least before we start to see enough coverage that we don’t have to think about Covid-19.”

Watch Dame Juliet's full Q+A interview above.