New Zealand has recorded 2,998 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week, along with 18 deaths attributed to the virus. Of these new cases, 1,288 are
New Zealand has recorded 2,998 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week, along with 18 deaths attributed to the virus. Of these new cases, 1,288 are reinfections. Currently, there are 175 cases in hospital, with three in intensive care. The seven-day rolling average of new cases stands at 426.
Additionally, New Zealand has detected the COVID-19 subvariant BA.2.86 in wastewater samples taken in September. While no hospitalizations with this subvariant have been reported as of September 21, the World Health Organization has classified it as a “variant under monitoring.” Early evidence suggests that existing vaccines in New Zealand remain effective against this subvariant.
Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles has cautioned that new vaccines targeting this variant might not be available in New Zealand until next year. The government is currently seeking data from vaccine manufacturers, with a decision expected to be made in 2024. Wiles noted that the virus mutates rapidly, raising concerns about the timeliness of vaccine updates.
Pharmac, New Zealand’s pharmaceutical management agency, is working with health partners to assess the need for a COVID-19 vaccine update in 2024.