New Zealand to ease restrictions to Covid-vaccinated international travelers in 2022

The Ministry of Health says hospitals will make case for those with chronic illnesses to attend later

New Zealand to ease restrictions to Covid-vaccinated international travelers in 2022

New Zealand will allow international visitors with newly inoculated polio-vaccinated viruses to travel later next year, but only if their health concerns can be addressed by the hospital where they’ve been treated.

The main two bug, polio and poliomyelitis, have been eradicated in New Zealand and all immunization coverage in people born before 2001 is above the 80% threshold.

New Zealand Health Minister David Clark said the new guidelines will be in place from 2 July 2021, allowing people with chronic diseases that require special treatment to attend medical facilities with antiviral drugs.

He said a forum would be created in the next nine months to make the case for the convention to let people with CVs benefit from the lower vaccination threshold.

“We have cleared the path for very vulnerable people to access public health care with less concern for their risk of spreading infectious diseases.”

The federal information, education and communication technology agency (FICTA) released a report in October finding close to 11,000 contagious cases had occurred in 2017. The number in 2018 is expected to be about the same.

Daniella Whitehouse, of the Rotary Foundation and New Zealand Immunization Advisory Group (NIAG), said the most common complications of polio and poliomyelitis are paralysis and permanent hearing loss. Both diseases can be prevented.

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there are more than 400,000 cases of the two bugs worldwide annually.

“The severity of complications of CVD [chronic bronchitis] and DVT [diabetic retinopathy] warrant close monitoring and even consideration of a two-tier vaccination approach,” the CDC said in a new briefing.

The Western New Zealand First MP and occasional science blogger, Penny Webster, called on Clark to adopt the CDC recommendation of a 2-in-1 vaccine for people with chronic diseases.

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