Vaccination and Rapid antigen testing- how they work together for NZ

Vaccines are available to anyone over the age of 12 who wants it in the New Zealand and soon available for those 5-12 years old along with booster shots for those who were vaccinated 6 months or longer ago. So why should we consider, call for and use COVID testing?

Here’s why:

  • Vaccines are great! While they’re primarily designed to protect you from infection (and if infected, reduce the severity of disease), they also have secondary effects of helping reduce how much you spread disease if you are infected.
  • While many New Zealanders are now part or fully vaccinated, there’s still a ways to go AND the disease is still spreading in the community and not just an Auckland issue.
  • Rapid tests are an easy way of knowing if you might potentially be able to spread the disease if you happen to contract it. You can contract Covid if vaccinated but are less likely to get very sick or need hospital care. Less complications or sickness doesn’t stop the vaccinated person from passing covid to others and especially the delta variant. Those who are not vaccinated are at risk of more severe effects of infection and so testing for active infection and detecting this as early as possible is even more crucial to spreading infection and early start to treatment to reduce severe effects of Covid.
  • Rapid antigen testing is rapid and accurate in detecting active Covid infections especially important in the vaccinated who may not display many symptoms ie asymptomatic. They may be largely unaware of when theu are infectious to others.
  • Testing is just one component of a Swiss cheese model of COVID-19 mitigation: nothing is perfect, but a combination of strategies is the safest, best possible option.

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Ann-louise Anderson