Top Line

New Zealand’s government on Monday announced a vaccine mandate that would require teachers and healthcare workers in the country to be legally vaccinated against COVID-19, a move that comes as New Zealand, a small But grappling with an unreliable local outbreak fueled by extremes. Infectious delta var.

important facts

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Under the new mandate, doctors, pharmacists, community nurses and many other health care workers in the country will be required to be fully immunized by December 1.

To make sure they meet the deadline, health workers will need to receive their first dose by October 30, said Chris Hipkins, the minister for COVID-19 response.

Teachers and other education workers will also need to be fully vaccinated by January 1, 2022, and in the meantime, those who have not already been vaccinated will need to be tested weekly.

Schools will also have to keep a register of their students’ immunization status and masks will be mandatory for all gatherings.

important quotes

“While most people working in these fields have already been fully or partially vaccinated, we cannot leave anything to chance and are making it mandatory,” Hipkins said in announcing the mandate.

big number

57%. This is the percentage of eligible people in New Zealand – all people 12 years of age or older fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a total of 2.38 million people, According to Official government data. The country has managed to rapidly scale up its immunization program after a slow start and is hoping to vaccinate 90% of the eligible population in the country by Christmas.

tangent line

The New Zealand government also on Monday announced An advance purchase agreement for 60,000 courses of an experimental new COVID-19 drug made by Merck is pending approval by New Zealand regulators. Late-stage clinical trials of the drug conducted by the drug manufacturer have shown that it halves the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk groups and can be administered to patients outside of a hospital setting. .

main background

New Zealand’s vaccine mandate comes just a week after admitting it can no longer continue with its ‘zero COVID’ strategy that relies on completely eliminating the local spread of the virus. Prior to the current outbreak, New Zealand’s strict border restrictions, quarantine measures and strong contact tracing efforts allowed it to effectively end the local spread of COVID-19 without resorting to prolonged lockdowns. The county’s approach to the pandemic was hailed as a model for the rest of the world and before the first Delta case was detected in August, New Zealand enjoyed a six-month streak of zero local COVID-19 cases Was. The current Delta variant outbreak has forced New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, into lockdown for nearly two months and the stringent outbreak has done little to stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Vaccine mandate has been given in the US got to know To be very effective in increasing vaccination rates.

Announcement of compulsory vaccination for health, education sector employees (Radio New Zealand)

COVID-19 NZ: Comprehensive vaccine mandate for teachers and most healthcare workers (stuff new zealand)

New Zealand doctors and teachers should soon be vaccinated (The Associated Press)