Hill News November 2021 - Update From Our CEO, Dr Jonno Hill | Hill Laboratories - NZ


Hill News November 2021 - Update From Our CEO, Dr Jonno Hill

Date: 18 Nov 2021
Author: Dr Jonno Hill

Those of us who live in parts of the Waikato were pleasantly surprised earlier this week by the announcement that we would be moving back into Alert Level 2, despite positive cases in the Waikato continuing to be reported every day. And two days later we learned that we would all be moving into the traffic light system on December 15, at which point the Auckland border will also be opened.

It is clear, then, that we have begun the difficult journey from the elimination strategy to COVID becoming endemic in NZ. This "bumpy exit" is a transition that most of the rest of the world is currently going through, which gives us an idea of the challenges that are now in front of us. I fear that, for us, the worst is still to come.

But of course we have no real choice in this. The virus is here to stay now. This is a reality driven by biology, and so we will transition to a future where we will live with it constantly circulating in the population. We can see from international precedence that there will be a severe toll on human life and health that will be borne during that transition, and that the suffering will fall disproportionately upon the unvaccinated and those who are vulnerable due to age and/or underlying health conditions.

Vaccination is a polarising idea, but our executive leadership team here at Hill Laboratories have confidence in the scientists and institutions who have done the hard work to prove the Pfizer vaccine's safety and efficacy. Our ELT feel strongly that we should encourage our staff to become vaccinated, and so we have introduced financial incentives to encourage this.

We are also cognisant of the business risk around the certainty that some of our staff will eventually contract COVID, and so we have mitigations in place to ensure that we will be able to continue receiving and registering samples from our customers, even as the number of community cases rises steeply.

It feels good to be moving toward a less restrictive way of life, but it will come at a cost as the virus moves through our population at an increasingly alarming rate. We must all now prepare for NZ's "bumpy exit" from the elimination strategy, and brace ourselves for some challenging times ahead. Here at Hill Labs, we are focussed on protecting our staff, and ensuring that our business continues to operate smoothly.