Vaccination to be mandatory for health and education workforce

By Te Ao - Māori News

Vaccination will be mandatory for health & education workforces, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced during the 4pm "presser" stand-up today. 

Cabinet has agreed that high-risk workers in the health and disability sector will need to be fully vaccinated by December 1, and will need to have received their first dose by October 30.

"This includes pharmacists, general practitioners, community health nurses, midwives, paramedics and all health care workers in sites where vulnerable patients are treated, including ICU units."

Certain non-regulated health workforces will be included in this, including "aged residential care, home and community support services, kaupapa Māori health providers and non-government organisations that provide health services."

Education workers will need to be fully vaccinated by January 1, 2022, with the target for them to receive their first dose is by November 15.

"It includes home-based educators, all those who support people in our schools and early learning services such as teacher aides, administration and maintenance staff and contractors."

Teacher testing

"Secondary schools and kura will also be required to keep a Covid-19 vaccination register of their students. Students that don't provide evidence of vaccination will be considered unvaccinated.

"All educational workforce employees, in Auckland and other alert level 3 regions, will be required to return a negative Covid-19 test result before they can work on-site at such time as their schools are able to reopen."

Weekly testing will be implemented for those who are not fully vaccinated in the period leading up to January 1.

"Most of the people working in these sectors are already fully or partially vaccinated, but we can't leave anything to chance, so that's why we're making it mandatory.

"It wasn't an easy decision, but we need to have the people that work with vulnerable communities who haven't been vaccinated, to now take this extra step."