New Zealand Jacinda Ardern unveils mandate for COVID vaccine for companies

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for companies, such as the government aims to achieve a national vaccination target of 90%.

Why it matters: Below the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, companies must require vaccine certificates from customers if they: in close contact with them. Ardern said during a briefing Tuesday that such locations die want to operate, including hair salons, bars, restaurants and gyms, must ensure staff have been vaccinated.

  • in unlike in The United States, there are no religious exemptions. Less than 100 people in the population of An estimated 5 million qualify as medically exempt from the Pfizer vaccine, currently the only brand offered in NZ.
  • The mandate affects approximately 40% of The New Zealand workforce, said minister from Labor Relations Michael Wood during the briefing.

Of interest: NZ is phasing out its pandemic elimination strategy, die turned out to be successful for the arrival of the Delta variant in August.

  • Auckland, the most populous in New Zealand city and the Centre of the current outbreak, has been under lockdown restrictions since then.
  • It’s because of the exit lockdown and switch to the highest institution of An new “traffic light” system once all three of of Auckland’s District Health Boards have 90% fully vaccinated of the in eligible population of Residents over 12, expected by the end of November.

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By the numbers: The outbreak in New Zealand has become 1,209 community cases if of Tuesday, the vast majority in Auckland.

  • 28 people have died from the virus since the begin of the pandemic.

The big image: Auckland and areas affected by COVID-19 of the Waikato region are below level 3 of NZ’s fourfold restrictions, set under the elimination strategy. Non-Essential Businesses die have close contact with customers remain Closed.

  • They are operating in the rest of the country under level 2 restrictions, with location capabilities capped.
  • Auckland is set to become the first region until experience traffic light system, allowing companies to operate under vaccine mandates — entering in the red setting. Other regions can join as soon as they hit the 90% vaccination target.

What she says: “With the new traffic light system, businesses die we previously treated as high risk like catering, hairdressers and gyms can operate at all levels if they ask customers for a vaccine certificate,” Ardern said during the briefing of the threat die these locations formed before the spread of the virus.

“If customers need to be vaccinated, so should the workers.”

— Ardern

Threat level: COVID-19 modeler Professor Michael Plank, of NZ’s University of canterbury, said: in a statement after traffic light system used to be announced last week that the “red” setting “may not be enough to trigger a major outbreak die health care under threat”.

  • He guessed the government save some of the stricter measures of elimination strategy, such as localized lockdowns, and appropriate economic support packages next to it, in the toolbox in if they are needed.”
  • Māori and Pacific Islander leaders and health experts have expressed concern over the disproportionate effects of the pandemic among these populations.

Between the lines: Vaccination Rates of Māori and Pacific Islanders are lower than the general population. But these populations are younger, so the rates have been rising while the rollout continues.

  • They have is in abandoned down by successive governments and faced systemic barriers in NZ’s health system for decades. Consequently, there is a distrust of governments.
  • Rhys Jones, a teacher in Māori Health at the University of Auckland, expressed concern in a statement that the vaccine was rolled out to “systematically privileged non-Māori, non-Pacific populations”, leaving indigenous Māori in in especially at risk.

Editor’s Note: This article is updated with comment van Jones and further context.

Read More: World News

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