Position on mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers

On 11 October 2021, the Government announced mandatory vaccination for two critical workforces – education, and health and disability workers – as a key component of its public health response to protect all New Zealanders during this global pandemic. Our members fall into the latter category.

 

Dapaanz supports the drive for as many people as possible to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Dapaanz strongly encourages members to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated.

As professionals working in the health sector, we provide services and support to people in Aotearoa New Zealand who may not have the same opportunities for health and wellbeing. It’s likely that people already experiencing the biggest inequities will also carry the greatest burden from Covid-19.

A country with high vaccination rates is the best protection for them.

 

Services and kaimahi all want safe services, and while Covid-19 is new, this situation is not.

Many settings that our members work in will soon require their staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccine requirements have already been in place for many years in the health sector, and many of our members are already required to provide proof of vaccination or immunity to other diseases before they begin employment.

Dapaanz is responsible for overseeing the registration of the addiction workforce and Code of Ethics | Tikanga Matatika for the sector, but we aren’t a union – mediating conversations and relationships between employees and employers isn’t our area of work. However, we are listening and speaking with our members and addiction services as they work through this situation. Overwhelmingly they all want the same thing – to be able to provide safe services that help people experiencing addictions to live healthy and successful lives.

We are confident the sector will work through this, as we have done before.

 

With the information available currently, your vaccination status will not impact your registration with dapaanz.

However, we may need to reconsider this, if it becomes mandatory for health professionals to prove their vaccination status to be registered to practice.

There will be more information in the next few weeks from the government, but for now dapaanz members should talk with their employers and/or supervisors to discuss any concerns they may have regarding mandatory vaccinations, their individual roles and work with them to address individual situations.

Dapaanz members have an ethical and professional obligation to protect and promote the health of whaiora and their whānau. Being vaccinated is one measure that we can take to protect ourselves, our whānau and the people we support.

 


 

Further information for the Health and Disability sector (including addiction services) from the Ministry of Health:  

Source: Mandatory vaccination for two workforces | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

An amendment will be made to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 that will require a new set of workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1st December 2021.

Vaccination is already mandatory for high-risk roles (including health worker roles) in Border, MIF and MIQ settings. This amendment seeks to extend 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
    • 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 30 October and their second dose by 1 December 2021.

Further details about the criteria for this amended order will be released in due course.