18 Jun 2021

Mainfreight to trial mass workplace Covid-19 vaccinations

10:06 am on 18 June 2021

Freight logistics firm Mainfreight will trial mass vaccinations against Covid-19 in the workplace.

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday that Mainfreight and Fonterra could both be involved in vaccinating employees.

Mainfreight managing director Don Braid told Morning Report discussions about the trial were still in early stages.

"We have offered the opportunity for the Ministry of Health to use us as a pilot workplace to get the rules right, get the testing procedures in place and hopefully we are able to get on with it," Braid said.

Mainfreight's Auckland operations were where the business had the majority of its staff - between 2000 and 2200 people - and where they would run the trial.

The timeframe for the trial was not yet known, he said.

"We've got another couple of days with (the Ministry of Health) to see when and how and what the procedures will be."

Mainfreight staff were diverse in age and ethnicity, Braid said. The trial had not been discussed with them yet.

"That's one of the things that we need to do. We're hoping that they will see this as an opportunity to help the Ministry of Health with vaccinations across the population as they start to roll out in these larger numbers.

"If we can get this right and help other businesses with the procedures of how we've done it, then that'll be good for all of New Zealand."

Mainfreight had been in discussions with authorities for some time, Braid said.

"We've got some expertise in logistics, we would like to see our people vaccinated and if we can be part of that process then we put our hand up...

"One of the things we are somewhat concerned about is it's all very well to do our people, but what about their families, what about their spouses. And those are things we would have discussions with our people about and ease their minds and hopefully provide the opportunity."

Braid would be getting vaccinated, he said.

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