Who qualifies for boosters and 3rd doses? Health officials explain


KOIN.com 10 October, 2021 - 07:17pm

Covid-19: The world of the unvaccinated is only going to shrink from now

Stuff.co.nz 12 October, 2021 - 02:10am

The circle around those who are choosing not to get vaccinated is slowly but surely shrinking. It is now clear that the lifestyle options for the unvaccinated, compared to the vaccinated, are going to progressively diminish as the year wears on.

Most health professionals will have to be vaccinated by December 1. Basically everyone who works in schools and all parents who volunteer at schools will have to be vaccinated by January 1. Those to whom this applies will have recourse to ordinary rights under employment law, but basically will lose their current jobs if they are not vaccinated. All the unions – with small caveats – lined up behind the policy.

In the case of most of health and all the school system now, it is now a case of no jab, no job.

The Government has framed the health and school requirements around two simple ideas: that people in the healthcare system expect they will be treated by vaccinated professionals, and that those who send their children to school expect their teachers and staff to be vaccinated. On the second point, both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins pointed out that primary children are currently too young to get a vaccine.

While the compulsory nature of this diktat will grate, or even horrify some, it comes as no surprise. Last week it was Air New Zealand announcing that anyone flying internationally would have to be vaccinated (Qantas has announced the same) and it is now considering the same for domestic flights.

People attending large events will have to present a vaccine certificate. And by November there will most likely be mandated vaccine certificates – either by the state or required by business owners – to get into an increasing number of venues.

By Christmas, for example, it is difficult to see anyone getting into a pub, bar or restaurant without one.

The public policy purpose of this is simple and two-fold: to drive the vaccination rate up and in doing so decrease the risk of Covid spread, or making too many people sick when it does.

There can be little doubt that the vast majority of voters are onboard with this, either because they like the Government being a bit dictatorial – which the response to Covid has amply proved – or because they are just sick of the inconvenience and uncertainty of the past 18 months and see the vaccine as the best way out.

For anyone who is planning on not getting vaccinated, there will be consequences. This also could create some degree of social schism.

However, given that vaccination rates are looking likely to be 85 per cent, perhaps even driving up to 90, the proportion of disaffected people won’t be large.

But it will be there: a small group, most probably angry that they can’t go out, can’t help out at their children’s school, can't travel internationally (or possibly on a plane domestically), and probably won’t be able to even to go the pub to drown their sorrows and complain about it.

That’s all assuming they don’t work in a job that requires a vaccine, which they might. And it’s not just New Zealand. If they moved to Australia, they will find the same thing.

Life will basically be a whole lot worse compared to their fellow citizens. And there will be no political party in the current Parliament that will stand up for them.

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