Close to 95 per cent of Waikato DHB staff had one Covid-19 jab

Close to 95 per cent of Waikato District Health Board staff have had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine (file pic).
Kelly Hodel/Stuff
Close to 95 per cent of Waikato District Health Board staff have had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine (file pic).

Close to ninety-five per cent of about 8000 Waikato District Health Board staff have had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Ninety-four per cent of staff have had one jab, and eighty-six per cent were fully vaccinated – with 15 days before the mandate's first jab deadline.

A Waikato District Health Board spokesman said it was hopeful the Covid-19 vaccine mandate would help to motivate those few remaining staff to book their appointments this month.

“Waikato District Health Board’s vaccination rate is amongst the highest in the country, and we strongly encourage all staff to get vaccinated against Covid-19.”

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Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announces mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for large parts of the health and education workforces.

Health staff must have their first dose by October 30 or lose their job, and be fully vaccinated by December 1.

The number of vaccinated staff changed day to day, as recruitment was ongoing, and staff were continuing to get vaccinated.

The spokesman said vaccination status was already a consideration in the deployment of staff, but it was too early to comment if the mandate would impact staffing levels.

“There is no indication that the addition of the Covid-19 vaccination to this long-standing vaccination requirement will have a material impact on recruitment.”

There was still detail to come on the health order, and when received, it would work with the Ministry of Health and union partners to look at its implementation.

A range of vaccinations were already required for any new staff joining a district health board, he said.

The percentage of staff fully vaccinated across the 20 district health board’s was around 85 per cent, up by about 10 per cent from September.

Around 90 per cent of both clinical and non-clinical staff were fully or partially vaccinated.

Nationwide, Taranaki’s district health board had the lowest percentage of vaccinated staff, with 80 per cent partly vaccinated, and 72 per cent fully.

Auckland had the highest percentages, with 94.3 per cent of DHB workers fully vaccinated, and 97.8 per cent with at least one dose.

DHB spokeswoman Rosemary Clements said health boards had strongly encouraged all their staff to get vaccinated against Covid-19, and they were pleased with the high vaccination levels across the workforce.

“We welcome this week’s announcement from the Government about mandatory health workforce vaccinations, and of course will comply with all Government requirements.”

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said those in the education and health workforce who refused to be vaccinated before the deadlines “would not be able to work in those roles”.

There would be a limited number of exemptions granted, though the details of how that will work had not been released.