Coronavirus: Judith Collins claims vaccine bus was her idea, comes up with a name for it

Judith Collins has come out in support of the new mobile vaccination clinics being rolled out this week, and even made a suggestion of what they might be called.

The programme will start in Auckland with six buses, increasing to 12 over the next few weeks Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday, aiming to up the city's vaccination rate as it fights an outbreak of the infectious Delta variant of COVID-19. 

A similar scheme has been operating in Australia, dubbed 'Jabba the Bus' - Ardern confident Kiwis could come up with something better. 

"I haven't got any bus [name] ideas but I'll leave it in the hands of creative New Zealanders," she said, making it clear "Bussy McBusface" was not an option.

Appearing on The AM Show on Wednesday, Collins was asked if she had any ideas.

"We don't want to call it the COVID bus, do we? Because that sounds really bad," she told host Ryan Bridge. "I think maybe it's the 'Save a Child Bus'." 

Collins said mobile vaccine clinics are a "good idea", one she claimed to have suggested last week.

"I thought it was a good idea - in fact, I popped that out last week, about that. I think it's a great idea."

Newshub was unable to find any evidence of this, and has contacted National for clarification. 

Twitter user Nick Baker, whose Twitter-based 'lockdown polls' recently featured on The Project, ran a poll on what the name should be. Hundreds took part and 'Shot Bro' was the clear winner, easily defeating 'Jabber Waka' in the final with 65 percent of the vote. 

Other suggestions were 'Jabb'n Wagon', 'Double Jab Ute', 'Vaxi Taxi', 'Jab Cab', 'Jablian Savea' and the 'All Vax'. 

So far 35.2 percent of eligible Kiwis (12-plus) have had two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and 68.8 percent at least one. Collins says once we get to 70 or 75 percent fully vaccinated, lockdowns should be ditched as a strategy. 

"Seventy to 75 percent you start getting some options rather than locking down a third of the country, or even in some cases the whole of the country. So that has to be it. 

"I'm saying to the Prime Minister and the Labour Party, come up with your own target because the only target we've heard so far is from Stuart Nash, which is 90 percent - which would be great, but I'm just not sure that's realistic."

Ardern on Tuesday said the Government would not rely on a single figure, because just because 70 percent are protected overall, doesn't mean there won't be parts of New Zealand with lower vaccination rates. Māori, who are at particular risk of serious illness or death should they contract the virus, also have lower vaccination rates than other ethnicities. 

Seventy-seven percent of eligible Kiwis have either had a first dose or are booked to get one, and 69 percent their second.