• Liam Tracey

New Zealand and the Covid Vaccine

There has been a big leap forward for humanity this week - yes, that means progess in 2020. Of course, it is Covid related! On Wednesday, the Government in the United Kingdom approved use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, saying yes before all other countries. This has been met with some scepticism, as they plan to use some of the 800,000 doses as early as next week. But that criticism has prompted many governments to look more carefully at their own roll out plans. So, what about New Zealand’s


There are currently two major producers of vaccines which are looking close to being an answer to the Covid-19 crisis. The Pfizer is a two-dose vaccine which experts are suggesting needs to be administered 21 days apart. Then there is Janssen, the lesser known or simply less talked about developer, which requires just one injection.


With that, the Government at the Beehive isn't putting all their eggs in one basket. While there is a lot of documentation over their purchase of the Pfizer vaccine, they have initially ordered 2 million doses of the Janssen vaccine, with the potential for more if required.


At the end of November, Jacinda Ardern confirmed that New Zealand’s roll out was most likely to take place around March 2021. This is for the Pfizer vaccine. When it comes to the Janssen, which requires just one injection, that is due to arrive in the country in September of next year.


Medsafe are continuing to maintain their standards when it comes to approving the vaccines for use here in New Zealand. The Health Secretary confirmed that this process was well underway and there were no plans to “cut corners”, which could put Kiwi’s at risk.


When it comes to the actual inoculation, it won’t be compulsory, and the Government is developing a priority plan for who may receive the vaccine first. This may see frontline workers, border staff and vulnerable groups offered first access to the injection. All of this to ensure there is continued control over the transmission of the virus within the country and develop a large population with the vaccine, around 80%.


There is a lot still to know about the journey towards New Zealand’s Covid vaccine roll out, but this is very much a work in progress and one which may be alarming or concerning those who have a fear of needles.

As reports of the vaccine are continuing to develop, the reality that it inevitably will be administered through injection may cause someone with a fear of needles to be concerned. Why not give our first podcast episode a listen, where oVRcome founder Adam Hutchinson talks to Guillaume about his experience living with Trypanophobia? You can find it here.

And those with trypanophobia will definitely benefit from support at this time. It seems that every day there is an article, radio report, or television interview detailing some development in the creation and deployment of a vaccine. Just like this one of course. But what this signals is a need to help those who fear needles as it may become a barrier to them accessing the inoculation. As mentioned earlier, it isn’t compulsory, so some may not want the help. But for those who do, whether your or someone you know, a helping hand will make a difference.


As we get closer to a possible roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine, oVRcome are continuing to fine tune their programme which utilises exposure therapy using virtual reality technology to support individuals with phobias, such as trypanophobia. Why not take our Fear of Needles test and receive a free customised report with some actionable tips for your severity level? It might just help you prepare for a dose of the upcoming vaccine.

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