Rise of New Zealanders getting 'quad-vaxxed' to travel causing concern among vaccinologists

While some New Zealanders are still waiting for their first vaccinations, others are now receiving their third and fourth.

The rise of the so-called 'quad-vaxxed' is occurring in Kiwis who've travelled overseas and it's causing vaccinologists deep concern. 

With her passport in her pocket and her double dose of Pfizer, Anneliese van Wijk has been chasing that elusive overseas adventure.

What she didn't pack when she left NZ - because it doesn't exist for Kiwis- is a vaccine passport. And now most of her holiday snaps - are of London and London alone.

"I thought I was going to be able to travel round, as UK people can, and I thought I was doing the right thing getting vaccinated before I left, doing the right thing for the community, but it's actually been a real pain having it done in New Zealand, rather than over here," she says.

In the UK - and Europe - individual QR codes are issued to prove your vaccination status as soon as you're jabbed. The best New Zealand can offer as proof is a piece of paper. And on the world stage, that just doesn't cut it.

"When I show them my piece of paper they don't recognise that as anything," van Wijk says.

With vaccination clinics here still open for business some Kiwis are now turning up to be re-vaccinated in order to qualify for a passport.

"I've definitely considered it, but I'm just a bit concerned about what health implications it would have as there is no research on it, but I understand people's frustrations would cause them to make that decision," van Wijk says.

Vaccinologists - including Auckland University's Dr Helen Petousis-Harris - are deeply concerned about people receiving additional doses.

She warns there is little safety data to support it and says it is disappointing the issue has not 

 already been resolved.

The Ministry of Health is assuring Kiwis work is underway to develop a digital certificate by December - in line with the global standards.

But until then - jab or no jab - most travel will require isolating.

"It's really unfair because lots of my friends here who are Kiwis as well, can do all the same trips as me and don't need to quarantine when they come home," van Wijk says.

Same holiday, same vaccine - but different proof and different freedoms.