We support mandatory vaccinations for health sector workers. We add our voice to those of our colleagues in medicine, nursing, midwifery who also broadly support this mandate.
As health workers we have a duty to act as role models for the community, and to understand science and to follow evidence based best practice. We must follow the ethical principles of beneficence, and nonmaleficence.
We also have a duty to work collectively to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, and to stand in solidarity with them. This includes people who are at higher risk for adverse outcomes due to colonisation, as well as those who cannot be vaccinated such as children.
We join those calling for resources to be shared with Maori providers to help the vaccine rollout to progress within their communities. We also add our voice to those who are calling for 90% of all groups to be vaccinated before restrictions are lifted. We call for data from the Ministry of Health to be released to help Maori health workers effectively target hard to reach parts of their communities.
We understand that some people are vaccine hesitant. There is so much misinformation and outright lies circulating on social media that it becomes increasingly difficult to determine what is true and what is not. We recommend regular fact checking, sourcing information from reputable science and medical professional journals, articles, and websites. Speaking with your local GP and health providers should be your first port of call.
Let us say unequivocally – the Covid-19 vaccines that are available in Aotearoa New Zealand are safe. They are well researched. They are effective.
Vaccine preventable diseases used to represent a huge proportion of global morbidity and mortality. Vaccines are safe, effective, and relatively cheap. They’re a necessary tool in the fight to protect the well-being of ourselves and our communities, while reducing the strain on an already overburdened health system.
The vast majority of those who end up in hospital and in ICU are those who are unvaccinated. This is why Covid-19 has recently been dubbed the virus of the unvaccinated.
We believe it is the duty of all workers and progressive-minded people to support those of us who are on the frontlines giving our all to combat this pandemic.
Please, get vaccinated for all of us.