New vaccination requirements for more health and disability workers

The Ministry of Health has announced the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 will be updated to require a new set of workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021.

Vaccination is already mandatory for high-risk roles (including health worker roles) in Border, MIF and MIQ settings. The amendment extends that requirement so that certain roles in the health and disability sector are also covered by this order, including:

  • Regulated professions currently registered under the HPCA regulations
  • Non-regulated professions in the following healthcare setting
    • Aged Residential Care Facilities (ARC)
    • Home and Community Care Services (HCSS)
    • Kaupapa Māori Health Providers, Pacific Health Providers and Non-Government Organisations who provide health services
  • Roles undertaken by people who:
    • are in frequent contact, face-to-face contact, or are in close proximity to healthcare workers providing a health service.
    • work where a health service is being provided.
    • do not necessarily provide a health service, but their role requires frequent contact/engagement with those providing health services and is considered tied to a role within a healthcare setting.

Any health and disability workers who fall under the categories above must receive their first dose of the vaccine by 30th October and their second dose by 1st December 2021. Further details about the criteria for this amended order will be released in due course.

Healthcare and disability workers are a valued and critical part of New Zealand’s pandemic response, and early evidence suggests that vaccination may reduce transmission of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of serious illness, which would burden New Zealand’s health and disability system.

Healthcare and disability workers have been able to be vaccinated against COVID-19 since March 2021, and District Health Boards have already achieved significant high rates of voluntary vaccination so far.

Vaccination remains our strongest and most effective tool to protect against infection and disease, and we need as many workers as possible to be vaccinated to allow our health services to respond to the pandemic and deliver everyday health services with as little disruption as possible.

Read the announcement on the Ministry of Health website: Mandatory vaccination for two workforces

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