New Zealand turns to street gangs in effort to drive up vaccination rates
Country has set ambitious 90% vaccination benchmark in major campaign.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
The New Zealand government has begun to recruit street gangs in its effort to vaccinate the vast majority of its population in a bid to squash the coronavirus there.
The island nation has become globally known for its aggressive, uncompromising anti-COVID policy over the last twenty months or so, using protracted lockdowns and quarantine measures in pursuit of a "zero-covid" policy.
In a shift toward a more practical mitigation policy, the country has set its sights on a still-ambitious 90% vaccination rate as a means to return to the pre-COVID normal.
The New York Times reported this week that authorities have begun turning to the country's street gangs as a means to drive up vaccine rates in hard-to-reach populations.
"We don't traditionally have ways to connect with them," one official told the paper. "And by finding the people that can and giving them the information, you've got a much higher chance of being successful."