New Zealand’s border workers have stepped up to help protect their whānau and fellow Kiwis, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.
As of this morning over 98% of the active border workforce have received at least one dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and 93% are fully vaccinated.
“This greater protection at our border gives us confidence that those people who are going to work and doing their jobs, aren’t going to get sick or die from COVID-19 if we see another international ship present with the virus in our waters, or have an incursion at an airport or MIQ facility,” Chris Hipkins said.
“It also reduces the possibility of transmission on to others in the community.
“Over the past 10 weeks, vaccination rates for active border workers across all sectors have climbed. This is testament to the hard work of the air and maritime sectors, employers, unions, DHBs, resident experts and border workers themselves for their work in this space.”
Total workers have climbed to 98% from just 84% having had one dose in July. For port workers, there has been a huge jump from just 55% in July, to 95% today.
“All Government employed workers are now vaccinated, and this week’s deadline brings private employers in as well. This is a significant step towards protecting New Zealanders from COVID-19 now and into the future.
“This is increasingly important as we look to how we reopen to the world. The border will continue to be our first defence against COVID-19 and the people who work there must be protected.
“Anyone who has been uncertain about getting vaccinated has one more day to ask any outstanding questions and get that first dose. You will then have 35 days to get your second one following the deadline.
“I encourage you to do this. It will keep you safe. I am extremely pleased and relieved this order comes into effect this week,” Chris Hipkins said.