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‘World’s best hope’ 2021: Cook Islands PM
02:29 am GMT+12, 22/12/2020, Fiji

The Cook Islands Government is urging the community to adhere to hygiene and other precautionary measures until a Covid-19 vaccine is made available next year.
 
Prime Minister Mark Brown says a Covid-19 vaccine is the world’s best hope in controlling the pandemic and they are very grateful that New Zealand has pledged to provide vaccines for Cook Islanders.
 
The New Zealand government last week announced that it is setting aside $75 million (US$53.2 million) to secure Covid vaccine for Cook Islands and other Pacific island countries.
 
PM Brown said they are grateful and appreciative of the support from New Zealand.
 
“A vaccine is the world’s best hope in controlling the pandemic. There is no firm indication yet when that might occur but the situation should become clearer in the new year.”
 
PM Brown said while things may free up a little shortly, “we will not be returning to what used to be called ‘normal’ 12 months ago”.
 
“That normal has gone, Covid-19, a tiny organism we can’t even see except with the most sophisticated of equipment, has changed all of that,” he said.
 
“Until next year, when we have access to a vaccine that offers protection from the virus, we must protect ourselves and our families by being extremely vigilant. By maintaining fastidious hygiene measures, wearing masks when necessary, maintaining separation when necessary and staying home if you’re unwell.”
 
New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Nanaia Mahuta said New Zealand is pursuing a portfolio of potential Covid-19 vaccines to ensure there is flexibility and choice in the fast-moving global marketplace.
 
“We want to make sure Pacific countries can also access suitable options, and have the support they need to run successful immunisation campaigns,” she said.
 
Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio said the support will be flexible, given the uncertainties around vaccine development


SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/PACNEWS


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