Vaccines Plus

A strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Vaccines Plus

A copy of the open letter sent to the New Zealand Government is here. The text is copied below.

On 25 May 2022, we received a reply to our letter from Hon Chris Hipkins who was then Minister for COVID-19. You can read the reply here.

If you are a doctor or scientist with relevant expertise and would like to add your name to the call to adopt a Vaccines Plus strategy, please sign here.

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A strategy to limit COVID-19 transmission

We the undersigned doctors and scientists, call on the New Zealand Government to adopt a comprehensive mitigation strategy, to minimise the negative health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This goal is best achieved by maintaining low COVID-19 transmission and infection rates through implementation of an evidence-informed Vaccines Plus strategy, that combines high vaccination coverage with effective public health and social measures.

COVID-19 is a novel pathogen that can repeatedly infect, with infection resulting in an increased risk of many serious long-term health complications for people of all ages. It is evident that vaccination alone will not be enough to fully protect our communities from high rates of COVID infection and the resulting complications.

Relying on ‘personal responsibility’, without effective public health measures, will result in repeated waves of infection, an overloaded and dysfunctional healthcare system, and ongoing disruption to daily life. This scenario is currently playing out around the world. Instead, a collective approach is required that focuses on minimising transmission by means of public health policies. These measures should be viewed as protections rather than restrictions, and when combined with a high vaccination rate, would encompass a Vaccines Plus strategy.

A public health based, Vaccines Plus approach favours the safety of all, especially marginalised communities who may lack access to resources needed to protect themselves. Groups particularly at risk when community transmission is high include children, the elderly, Māori and Pasifika, and people who are medically vulnerable or disabled.

Vaccines Plus: actions to take now

COVID-19 spreads predominantly by airborne transmission, therefore, to minimise infections public health policies must aim to provide clean air within indoor environments. The evidence for this conclusion is extensive.

To this end, we urge the New Zealand Government to implement the following, as part of a Vaccines Plus strategy:

The implications of continuing to allow poorly-mitigated transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand are too great to ignore. The burden of long term illness and disability on individuals, whānau, and our health system of Covid and Long COVID will include effects on the cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, endocrine, and immune systems.

Recurrent waves of infection caused by waning immunity, new variants, and the premature removal of public health controls, would lead to an over-burdened healthcare system that would struggle to provide even standard services.

COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease, but transmission is preventable. As previously outlined, there are inexpensive and highly effective strategies for suppressing infection rates, that will work in the background to keep people safe as they go about their daily lives. We believe these measures can create a ‘covid-hostile’ environment in New Zealand that would protect us not only from new variants, but also from other airborne respiratory infections.

In the face of high uncertainty about the future course and long-term impacts of the SARS- CoV-2 pandemic, New Zealand can again be a world leader if we embrace a comprehensive public health based, Vaccines Plus strategy.


Dr Kelvin Ward Urgent Care Physician MBChB FRNZCUC DipCEM PGCertCPU
Dr Amanda Kvalsvig Epidemiologist MBChB MRCPCH(London) PhD
Professor Michael Baker Epidemiologist MBChB DPH DObs FAFPHM FNZCPHM FRACMA
Dr Sandhya Ramanathan Specialist General Practitioner BSc (Med) MBBS (Hons) DCH FRACGP FRNZCGP
Dr Anna Brooks Immunologist BCA BSc(Hons) PhD
Dr Joel Rindelaub Aerosol Chemist PhD
Dr Rawiri Keenan General Practitioner MBChB, FRNZCGP
Terry Taylor Medical Laboratory Scientist BSc DipMLS MNZIMLS
Dr David Gollogly Urgent Care Physician MBChB FRNZCUC
Dr David Welch Computational Biologist PhD


Emeritus Professor Warren Tate Scientist-Biomedical BSc MSc(Hons) PhD FRSNZ CNZM
Professor Rod Jackson Epidemiologist Public Health Physician BSc MBChB MMedSc DObs DCH PhD FNZCPHM
Professor Chris Bullen Public Health Medicine MBChB DObst DCH MPH PhD FNZCPHM FAFPHM
Professor Nick Wilson Professor of Public Health MBChB MPH
Associate Professor Rhys Jones Public Health Medicine MBChB MPH FNZCPHM
Associate Professor Elana Curtis Public Health Medicine MD MPH DipPH MBChB BHB FNZCPHM
Associate Professor Lance C. Jennings Virology QSO PhD FRCPath FFSc(RCPA)
Emeritus Professor Phil Garnock-Jones Biology BSc(Hons) PhD
Honorary Associate Professor Rob Siebers Scientist PGCertPH FNZIMLS FRSB HonFNZAP
Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles Microbiologist PhD
Professor Stuart Dalziel Paediatric Emergency Physician MBChB FRACP PhD
Professor Virginia Braun Psychology PhD
Professor Andrew Jull Nurse RN MA(Applied) PhD
Professor Thomas Lumley Biostatistician PhD FRSNZ.
Professor Richard Easther Physics PhD
Associate Professor Jonathan Marshall Statistician PhD
Professor Arindam Basu Professor of Epidemiology PhD
Dr Kelvin Walls Engineer & Building Surveyor PhD
Dr Julie Bennett Public Health PhD
Dr Gary Payinda Emergency Medicine Specialist MD MA DDU FACEP FACEM
Dr Michael Howard Emergency Consultant Microbiologist Immunologist MD FACEP FACEM
Dr Rory Miller Rural GP and Hospital Medicine MBChB FRNZCGP FDRHMNZ
Dr Garry Nixon Rural Health MD FRNZCGP FDRHMNZ
Dr Sally Talbot Specialist General Practitioner MBChB Dip Obst FRNZCGP
Dr Matire Harwood GP MBChB PhD MRNZCGP
Dr Alison Leversha Paediatrician BHB MBChB DipObs FRACP(Paeds) MPH PhD
Dr Ruth Sinclair Neonatal Paediatrician MBChB FRACP
Dr Jin Russell Community and Developmental Paediatrician MBChB DipPaed FRACP
Dr Alice Tait-Jamieson General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Catherine Hurd General Practitioner BSc MD CCFP FRNZCGP
Dr Pamela Eccles Anaesthetist Pain Medicine Specialist MBChB FANZCA FFPMANZCA
Dr Indran Ramanathan Cardiothoracic Surgeon MBBS PhD FRACS
Dr Miranda McEwan General Practice BSc(Hons) MBChB PhD
Dr Cathy White General Practitioner MBChB FRCGP
Dr Louise Kuegler Specialist General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Kim Williams General Practitioner FRNZCGP MRCP(Lond) MRCGP
Dr Angela Glew General Practitioner MA MB BChir MRCGP FRNZCGP
Dr Vivian Fu Neurologist & General Physician MBChB PhD FRACP
Dr Danielle Gerrard General Practitioner MBChB PGDip Paeds FRNZCGP
Dr Rebecca Randerson Specialist General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP DipChildHealth
Dr Pauline Horrill General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Anna Skinner General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Caroline Ryan General Practitioner MBChB (Otago) FRNZCGP
Dr Stephanie Taylor General Practitioner BPhED (Hons) MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Grahame David Jelley Specialist General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Landi Cranstoun General Practice MD Diplomate American Board of Family Medicine
Dr Laura McAulay GP Registrar MBBS MRNZCGP PGcertWH
Dr Kiyomi Kitagawa GP Registrar MB ChB
Dr Pam Olver General Practitioner MBBCh FRNZCGP
Dr Victoria Jones General Practitioner LLB BMBS FRNZCGP
Dr Brett Hyland Specialist GP BHB MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Lorna Archer General Practitioner MB BS BSc
Dr Rebecca Stewart General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Jonathon Phillips General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Clare Fisher Anaesthetist MBChB FRCA FANZCA
Dr Akanksha Bhargava General Practitioner MBChB DCH FNZCGP
Dr Christina McLachlan Internal Medicine MBChB FRACP
Dr Yu-Ching Yu GP Registrar MB ChB DTM&H MPH
Dr Annick Depuydt Anaesthetist MBBS BA FANZCA
Dr Tarun Sharma GP and Urgent Care Physician FRNZCGP FRNZCUC
Dr Vicki Robertson Gynaecologist FRANZCOG
Dr Dougal Thorburn General Practitioner and Public Health Medicine MBChB MPH FRNZCGP ANZCPHM
Dr Prabani Wood General Practice BMBCh Masters in Public Health BA FRCNZGP
Dr Gemma Poke Clinical Genetics FRACP
Dr Pleayo Tovaranonte General Practitioner MBChB LLM (Medical Law & Ethics) PGDipSpMed PGCertCAvMed PGDipHlthSrvMgmnt
Dr Andrew Wood ENT Surgeon BM BCh PhD FRACS
Dr Sonja Bodley General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Raakhi Mistry General Practice MBChB
Dr Prerna Sehgal Founding President PIHPSA MBChB (Otago) PG Dip Paed (Auck) BPharm PG Cert Pharm (Otago)
Dr Karen McIlhone Public Health MBChB DipPaed MPH
Dr Atalie Colman General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP PhD
Dr Tina Chou General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP PGCertCAvMed
Dr Karyn Schischka Urgent Care Physician MBChB FRNZCUC MRCEM DCH
Dr David Davies-Payne Radiologist MBChB FRANZCR
Dr Vivien Yong Internal Medicine MBChB FRACP
Dr Robin Evison Urgent Care Physician MD FRNZCUC
Dr Barbara Blok Emergency Physician Urgent Care Physician MBChB FACEM FRNZCUC PGCertCPU PGDipTravMed
Dr Jasmine MacKay Urgent Care Physician BSc MBChB FRNZCUC
Dr Kerry Thornbury General Practitioner MBChB BSc FRNZCGP
Dr Cheryl Archer Specialist General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Nina Bevin General Practitioner and Public Health MBChB MPH MHSci DIH FRNZCGP
Dr Jasmin Roman General Practitioner MD
Dr Marama Renata General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Dave McKay Palliative Doctor and GP MBChB PGDipGP PGDipPalCare FRNZCGP
Dr Charlotte Harris General Practitioner MBchB(Hons) FRNZCGP
Dr Dasna Pallie General Practitioner FRNZCGP MBCHB
Dr Brooke Vosper General Practitioner MBChB MRNZCGP
Dr Lakhminder Sandhu General Practitioner FRNZCGP
Dr Dilawar Singh General Practitioner and Urgent Care Physician MBBS FRNZCGP FRNZCUC
Dr Clare Harford General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Vasanthi Bradley General Practitioner MBChB
Dr Jocelyn Wood General Practitioner M b B Chir MA (Cantab)FRNZCGP
Dr Joost Breuk General Practitioner FRNZCGP
Dr Margaret Field Oakley Specialist GP FRNZCGP
Dr Donna Lahood General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Jason Kohamutunga Tuhoe General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Sivanadiyan Nachiappan General Practitioner MBBS FRNZCGP
Dr Claire Russell Urgent Care Clinician MBBS FRNZCGP FRNZCUC
Dr Susanna Kent GP and Forensic Physician MBChB FRNZCGP Dip Forensic Med Dip Obs Dip Clin Nutrition
Dr Kirsten Tucker General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Kerry Macaskill-Smith General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP DEEM DipPaeds
Dr Rhondda Turner General Practitioner MBChB Dip Obs FRNZCGP
Dr Michael Loten General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Claire Coddington General Practitioner MRCP MRCGP FRNZCGP
Dr Helen Fulcher General Practitioner MBChB DipPaed PGCertHsc (Sports Med) FRNZCGP
Dr Ruth Cameron General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Rozanna Latif GP MBChB
Dr Katrina Kirikino General Practitioner MBCHB FRNZCGP Dip Obs Dip Peads
Dr Leanne Ashley GP and Cosmetic Medicine Doctor MBChB FRNZCGP NZSCM
Dr Lucy Telfar Barnard Epidemiologist MA(Hons) PhD
Dr Kim Burgess General Practitioner MBChB DPH FRNZCGP
Dr Jessie Anderson General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Jennifer Summers Epidemiologist PhD AKC DHMSA PGDPH PGCap BSc CStat FHEA MRSNZ
Dr Dermot Coffey General Practitioner FRNZCGP
Dr Geraldine Tennent General Practitioner FRNZCGP
Dr Anita Mudaliar General Practitioner MRCGP FRNZCGP
Dr Herman van Kradenburg Consultant Specialist GP MBCHB Dip Occ Med (cum laude) FRNZCGP
Dr Neilenuo Nelly Rentta Public Health MBBS Diplomate of the National Board (DNB) General Surgery DPH
Dr Sarah McArthur General Practice MBChB PGDip Child Health
Dr Shona Roberts General Practitioner MBBS FRNZCGP
Dr Gillian Yardley General Practitioner BSc MbChB FRNZCGP
Dr Naera Waters Medical Oncologist MBChB FRACP
Dr Janet Hayward General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Maaike Mewe Specialist GP FRNZCGP
Dr Helen Wood Specialist General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Liz Humm General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Beth McDonald General Practice MBChB
Dr Vicki Shaw Youth Health MBChB
Dr Holly Pittar House Officer MBChB DCH
Dr May Ching Soh Rheumatologist & Obstetric Physician MBChB FRACP PhD
Dr Caroline Shorter Wellington Asthma Research Group PhD (Medicine)
Dr Olivia Hill - MBChB
Dr Jonathan Kennedy General Practitioner FRNZCGP MBChB DPH DCH Dip Obs BSc
Dr Phillipa Dodds General Practitioner MBChB
Dr Julie-Anne Bell Haematologist MBBS MRCP FRCPath
Dr Aimee Rondel General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Nora Parore Pharmacist / Kaupapa Māori Health Researcher BPharm PGCertClinPharm PGDipClinPharm Doctoral Candidate
Dr Heather Powell Rural Hospital / GP MBBS Bsc Trop Dip
Dr Ashleigh Jensen Radiology Trainee MBChB BSc PGDip Surg Anat.
Dr Rowena Woodhams General Practice Registrar MBChB DCH
Lesley Gray Public Health FFPH MPH MSc
Dr Catherine Chan General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Katherine Bloomfield Geriatrician BSc MBChB FRACP
Dr Keith Colvine Rheumatologist and General Physician MBChB FRACP
Dr Dalilah Restrepo Infectious Diseases Specialist NA
Dr Monika Pradhan Ophthalmology MBBS MS DOMS FCPS MRCOphth
Dr Sharon Gardiner Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist PhD
Dr Alicia Didsbury Immunologist PhD
Dr Olivia Tan General Practitioner FRNZCGP MBChB
Dr Thomas Wong Infectious Diseases and Geriatrics MBChB
Dr Tim Cunningham General Practitioner MBChB DipObst FRNZCGP
Dr Anna Cherry General Practitioner MBBCh FRNZCGP
Dr Danuta Amelung Specialist General Practitioner BHB MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Maritza Farrant Endocrine Fellow MBChB MPH FRACP
Dr James Lello Medical Educator Senior Lecturer MBChB DCH MMedSci FRNZCGP
Dr Tracy Ball General Practitioner MBChB MRCGP FRNZCGP
Dr Joyce Chan General Practitioner FRNZCGP MBChB Dip Paeds
Dr Stephen Streat Intensivist FRACP
Dr Heather Murray General Practitioner MBChB Dip Child Health FRNZCGP
Dr Greg White GP MBChB
Dr Katherine Stevens Health Economics. Measuring and valuing child health. PhD
Dr Andrew Dickson Health Sociologist PhD BSc
Dr David Eccles Genetics / Nanopore Sequencing BBmedSc(Hons) BSc PhD
Dr Cayley Ingham Public Health MBChB DCH MPH
Dr Neil Gemmell Genetics PhD
Dr Julianna Lees Public Health Physician MBChB MPH FNZCPHM
Dr Tamsin Braisher Molecular Ecology PhD
Dr Eng Ann Toh Public Health Medicine Trainee MB ChB PhD DPH MPH
Dr Heather Battles Biological Anthropologist PhD
Dr Joep de Ligt Genomics PhD
Gustavo Olivares Air quality scientist MSc
Dr Murray Cadzow Genomics PhD
Dr Rochelle Phipps General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP DCH MBA
Dr June Leung Public Health Researcher MBBS MPH MD
Dr Anna Santure Genetics PhD
Dr Natasha Grimsey Pharmacology PhD
Leanne Te Karu NA MHSc, PGDipClinPharm, PGCertPrescribing, PGCertHerbalMeds, PhDCandidate
Dr Mike Foss Anaesthesia and pain medicine BSc Dip Sc MBChB FANZCA FFPMANZCA
Dr Jennifer Keys Rural Hospital Medicine FDRHM
Dr Kyle Eggleton General Practitioner MBChB MMedSci MPH PhD FRNZCGP(Dist)
Dr Sarah Clarke Rural Medicine FRNZCUC FRHMNZ
Dr Ramon Pink Public Health MBChB MPH FAFPHM FNZCPHM
Dr Anna Stevenson Public Health Medicine MBChB, Dip Paeds, DipEpi, MPH
Dr Rosemary Bruce Specialist General Practicioner Rural Health MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Ian Ternouth Physician Cardiologist FRCP FRACP FCSANZ
Dr Linda Pirrit Specialist General Practitioner FRNZCGP
Dr Alastair Mark Anaesthetist MBChB FANZCA
Dr Rall Koen General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP FRNZCUC
Dr Campbell White Consultant Physician Internal Medicine MBChB FRACP
Dr Ricardo Jurawan Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology MBBs FRACP
Prof. A.W. Peet Theoretical Physics PhD
Dr Lisa Bundy Emergency Medicine Consultant. MBChB BSc MRCP FRCA FACEM
Dr Mahmoud Amer Nephrology MBChB FRACP
Dr Katherine Lovell General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Helen Nelson Psychiatrist MB ChB FRANZCP
Dr Kathryn Day Rural Hospital Specialist MBChB MA Physiological Sciences (Oxford) FDRHMNZ
Dr Mariam Parwaiz Public Health Physician MBChB MPH (Hons) FNZCPHM
Dr Rebekah Jaung Public Health MBChB PhD MPH
Puja Singh Evolutionary Psychology BEng PostGradDipSci BA MA
Dr Mavis Duncanson Public Health Physician MB ChB MPH PhD FAFPHM FNZCPHM
Dr Stuart Ekdahl Urgent Care MBChB FRNZCUC
Dr Ingrid Crawford Specialist General Practitione MBChB PHCertWHlth FRNZCGP
Dr Kevin Sum Internal Medicine Respiratory Medicine MBBS FRACP
Dr Malcolm Scott Family medicine MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Ana Rakonjac Physics PhD
Amanda Rouse NA RN, RM, Master of Healthcare
Dr Rajesh Kumar Internal Medicine MBBS FRACP
Justine Paterson Public Health Nurse DipNursing, BSc (Nursing)
Dr. Matthew Rowe Cell and Molecular Biology PhD
Dr Mona Jeffreys Epidemiologist PhD
Dr Tony Oldham NA Psychology, EBP, Methodology
Dr Sharon McHardy Urgent Care Physician, Specialist General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP FRNZCUC
Dr Susan Genner Consultant General Practitioner MBChB Dip Obs MRNZCGP
Dr Sarah Redfern General Practitioner/ GPSI Skin Cancer MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Bevan Weir Microbiology PhD
Dr Jo Scott-Jones General Practitioner FRNZCGP MMSc
Dr Matthew Reid Public Health Medicine BMedSci (Bioethics) MBChB DCH MPH FNZCPHM
Dr Bridget Wilson Public Health Medicine Specialist MBChB MPH NZCPHM
Dr Al Donoghue Obstetrician and Gynaecologist MBChB MBA FRANZCOG
Dr John Shepherd Geriatrician MBChB FRACP
Dr Tanya Wilton Emergency Medicine MBChB FACEM
Lou Wickham NA Bachelor Chemical Engineering, Master Environmental Law
Elizabeth Oliphant Paediatric Pharmacist & Doctoral Candidate in Paediatrics BPharm PGDipPharmPrac PhD candidate
Dr Amanda Hunt Public Health BHB, MPhil(EnvSc)Hons
Dr Gerda Kuschel Senior Air Quality Specialist PhD BE
Professor Nigel French Epidemiology BVSc MSc(Epidemiology) PhD
Dr Ruth Large Emergency Medicine, Telehealth MBChB FACEM FDRHM
Dr Bruce King Elementary Particle Physics PhD
Dr Katarina Gray-Sharp Anthropogenic mass extinction/Kaupapa Māori researcher PhD
Dr Abdulmumuni Samuel Aliyu Infectious diseases MPhil MCH
Libby Grant Public Health researcher MPH
Dr David Keegan Family Physician, Professor of Family Medicine MD CCFP(EM) FCFP
Dr Rachel Nicholls Public Health PhD, MPH
Dr Frances Moon General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Bernard Cammack General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr Ann Evans General Practitioner MBChB FRNZCGP
Dr R Scott Springford Metcalfe Public Health Physician MBChB DComH FAFPHM(RACP) FNZCPHM FNZMA
Dr Kristin Smith Radiologist FRANZCR
Dr Rosemary Anne Kingham Retired anaesthetist MBChB FANZCA
Dr Jennifer HY Lin Medicinal & computational chemistry/Data science BPharm RegPharmNZ MPhil PhD
Dr Bradley Case Ecology PhD
Dr Alison Blaiklock Public Health Physician MPHTM FNZCPHM
Dr Sharon Kletchko Quality and Risk, Governance and Compliance FRACP