2 Dec 2021

About 1400 school teachers refuse Covid-19 vaccination

3:44 pm on 2 December 2021

Education Ministry figures indicate just 2.4 percent of school teachers, about 1400 people, have refused the Covid vaccination.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The ministry said responses from 94 percent of schools indicated nearly 98 percent of teachers and 95 percent of other staff were vaccinated.

Official figures showed there were 62,600 teachers working in state and state integrated schools, last year and a further 9000 relief teachers so a vaccination rate of nearly 98 percent would translate to more than 1400 unvaccinated teachers.

The ministry warned that its figures were not definitive.

Tai Tokerau had the lowest reported vaccination rates at 93 percent, indicating the region had about 100 teachers refusing the jabs.

Schools in Bay of Plenty and Waiariki reported a vaccination rate of 96 percent for teachers, while Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast and Taranaki, Manawatū, Whanganui reported rates just under 97 percent.

The ministry said Wellington had the highest vaccination rate for registered teachers at 98.3 percent, followed by Canterbury/Chatham Islands, Auckland and Otago/Southland which all had teacher vaccination rates of at least 98 percent.

The ministry said very few schools required its help with staffing as a result of the vaccine mandate.

Since 16 November, unvaccinated staff have been banned from schools and early learning centres. All staff who have contact with children must be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

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