PCR testing experts at Gisborne’s biotechnology company talk to Covid-vacci – The Gisborne Herald
Posted on October 29, 2021 at 12:10 p.m.
Low Covid vaccination rates in Tairawhiti are not helped by misinformation, according to experts behind one of New Zealand’s Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Gisborne biotechnology company denature supplies Covid-19 PCR test kits to hospitals on the North Island.
Founders John and Belinda Mackay say the low vaccination rate here has implications for business and healthcare in Tairawhiti.
They say Covid-19 and vaccination misinformation must be tackled.
One example of such misinformation has involved questioning the validity of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to diagnose Covid-19.
“In its current form, which we use for Covid, the test was used routinely for about 20 years, before any of the deniers heard of PCR,” Mackay said.
“When Covid came out, this form of PCR test had already been used to test for sexually transmitted infections with chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as to determine if a person has been cured of hepatitis C.
“It’s exactly the same technology that was used to test Covid. “
PCR has also been used for many years to test for other viruses, and even the industry test for Psa kiwifruit disease.
The company also uses the same technology to test for deadly bee diseases.
“We’d rather not go out of Covid kits, but it was reported last year that New Zealand was going to run out of PCR test kits and we thought ‘not while we’re here’ so we developed our own. testing method that is used in hospitals across the country, ”Mr. Mackay said.
Belinda Mackay, who is also president of the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce, said the impact of disinformation here was “enormous”.
“There is real hesitation around the mRNA vaccine as people believe it is really new technology.
“It was an overnight success 30 years in the making,” she says.
“The vaccine cannot alter our DNA, it is destroyed within 24 hours and contains much less foreign viral material than ‘traditional’ vaccines which used whole inactivated viruses.
“This is not experimental, has passed all of its required clinical trials before deployment.
“What scares us is that we know Maori are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital with the effects of infectious respiratory diseases and this is research that was done before Covid be known.
“When Covid arrives here, it will potentially be bad news as it will target anyone who is unvaccinated and with 3 hospital intensive care beds dedicated to Covid, our health system could be overwhelmed fairly quickly.”
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Test, test: a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. File Image