Mandatory vaccination for health and disability and school staff

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 11, 2021 |

People working in the health and disability sector and in schools will be required to be vaccinated under strict new Government regulations.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said “while most people working in these sectors are already fully or partially vaccinated we can’t leave anything to chance and are making it mandatory.”

“Vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 are not yet approved and the health and disability sector includes a range of high-risk occupations.”

Exemptions may be possible under some circumstances. Workers at MIQ and at airports and ports are already required to be vaccinated. 

 The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 will be updated to require anyone conducting high-risk work in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021.

General practitioners, pharmacists, community health nurses, midwives, paramedics, and all healthcare workers in sites where vulnerable patients are treated (including Intensive Care Units) must receive their first dose of the vaccine by 30th October.

These requirements also include certain non-regulated healthcare work, such as aged residential care, home and community support services, kaupapa Māori health providers and Non-Government Organisations who provide health services.

The full list will be provided in the next few days. 

From 1 January, 2022, schools and early learning services and providers will need to maintain a register, and ensure only vaccinated staff and support people have contact with children and students.

They need to have their first dose by 15 November.

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

Secondary schools and kura will also be required to keep a COVID-19 vaccination register for students. Students that do not produce evidence of vaccination will be considered unvaccinated.

 All school employees in Auckland and other Alert Level 3 regions will be required to return a negative COVID-19 test result before they can return to work onsite.

 Those who are not fully vaccinated in the period leading up to 1 January 2022, will also be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

 Work is continuing on whether mandatory vaccinations will be required in the tertiary education sector.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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