22 Sep 2021

75 percent of frontline health workers have had two Covid-19 pfizer vaccine doses

5:35 pm on 22 September 2021

The vast majority of frontline healthcare workers are vaccinated against Covid-19, District Health Boards say.

DHBs can only confirm 75 percent of staff have had two doses at present.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told media this afternoon he had asked health officials to consult on mandatory vaccination for the majority of healthcare workers.

At present only healthcare workers covered by the Public Health Response Order relating to MIQ facilities and the border had been mandated to be vaccinated.

DHBs were in the dark about the vaccination status of some staff.

But the best data they had, from early September, showed at least 75 percent of DHB workers were fully vaccinated.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - 2021/08/25: Officials are seen at a vaccination centre in Christchurch.

File image. Photo: Getty Images

DHB spokesperson Rosemary Clements said frontline healthcare workers were offered early vaccinations as part of Group 2 in the vaccine rollout.

"Latest figures to early September show DHBs know that at least 75 percent of their total workforce of around 80,000 is fully vaccinated, with higher numbers for those who have had one vaccination. These figures include clinical and non-clinical staff," she said.

"The percentage of staff vaccinated in all DHBs will now be higher in line with the pace of the vaccination roll-out."

The figures showed Canterbury DHB could only confirm 65 percent of staff were fully vaccinated, while West Coast DHB could only confirm 49 percent of staff had two doses.

DHBs could only record the vaccination status of staff if they sought consent before doing so.

"Some DHBs who started this consent process later than others may have slightly lower figures recorded than those who began the process earlier, however all DHBs are confident of high levels of vaccination in their workforces," Clements said.

Recently, the Privacy Commissioner provided a privacy waiver to allow the Ministry of Health to provide information about staff vaccination status to the three Auckland metro DHBs and Waikato DHB, in response to the Delta variant outbreak.

Guidance for DHBs published in July recommended they identified designated Covid-19 workstreams and ensured all workers in those workstreams were vaccinated.

"Given the high numbers of DHB staff known to be vaccinated, we are confident of very high levels of vaccination in their Covid-19 workstream areas," Clements said.

"Vaccination is an important measure to keep staff and patients safe, along with the other infection prevention control measures used stringently throughout the pandemic, such as use of full PPE gear."

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