More than 82% of border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at six months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins said today.
“That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Mr Hipkins said.
“We know that the most likely place for Omicron to enter the community is at the border, so we want all border and eligible health and disability workers to have the extra protection the booster vaccine provides to protect them and their families. The border continues to be our first line of defence.”
The Minister said the Ministry of Health was continuing to work with the sectors that have mandatory workers to help them identify and manage the boosters for their staff.
“It’s encouraging all employers, covered by the Vaccinations Order or not, to support their employees to get their booster vaccinations as soon as they are able to,” he said.
“After consultation with the workforces most likely to come into contact with Omicron, workforces covered by the Vaccination Order including border, MIQ and health and disability workers will be required to have their booster by 15 February 2022, or not later than six months after their second dose for those who were only recently vaccinated. ”
All other workforces covered by the Vaccination Order including Education, Corrections, Police, Defence, and Fire and Emergency workforces will be required to have their booster vaccination by 1 March 2022.
“Anyone aged 18 or older who has had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago is able to get their free booster vaccine. Booster doses are available at all vaccination centres including walk-ins and drive-throughs.”
“The single most important thing New Zealanders can do to prepare for Omicron is to get a booster dose as soon as they are eligible. I want to thank all New Zealanders who have already arranged and received their boosters,” Mr Hipkins said.