Given there’s been a bit of talk in the media lately about vaccinations and testing – or lack thereof – and the government’s commitment to get Godzone Aotearoa New Zealand’s population vaccinated this year, today’s episode is all about the Covid-19 vaccination rollout and how to manage it in your clinic.

New Zealand’s population has been broken down into four groups – two of which have already started to receive their Covid-19 vaccines:

Group 1 – this group started receiving their jabs from February

  • Border and managed isolation/quarantine workers
  • Health workers at the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure
  • Household contacts of the above

Group 2 – started in March

  • High risk frontline health workers, including aged residential care workers and residents
  • High risk frontline public sector and emergency services

Group 3 – will start in May 2021

  • People in the community, including older people and those with underlying health conditions or disabilities
  • At risk health and social services workforce

Group 4 – will start from July

This group is the rest of the community – those who aren’t in any of the other groups. 

Doses administered so far

As at recording this show:

  • 135,585 doses have been administered
  • 105,391 kiwis have received their first dose, and
  • 30,194 have received their second dose

Official Health Stats – website

Health & Safety trumps (almost) everything else

Health and safety risk needs to be managed according to the perceived risk through consultation and in good faith.

No employer can force an employee to be vaccinated.  That’s black and white and set in stone. 

However, a clinic can potentially be justified in either redeploying someone or even terminating employment in certain circumstances.

Episode 14 – the jab or your job

You need to demonstrate that – if you’re the employer – you’ve tried every option to redeploy the employee prior to terminating their employment.

Can someone decline to give “vaccination” information to an employer?

Failing to provide this information, or providing false or misleading information – as an employee – would be regarded by any Godzone court of law as to be an act of extremely bad faith in these circumstances. 

You’d likely come off second best if you were to test that point of law.

So what do you do as a clinic if someone refuses to either take the vaccine or gives you information on their status around this?   For example, they might be antivax.

The first thing you do is record their response in writing along with any reason for taking this position.

You can then tell them you’ll assume they’re unvaccinated and may act accordingly.

To make it easy, I’ve drafted up a simple – free to download – Memo to All Staff template for you to use, if you want.

free downloadable MSWord template for veterinary clinics to use to their staff for Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout

Feel free to change the wording to suit your communication style.   All you have to do is overtype the yellow highlights and then distribute it to all staff.

Download this MSWord docx template file for your use here.

NB: clicking the link above will automatically download to your device.

Helpful links and websites

NZ Government Employment website

Does a specific role need to be filled by a vaccinated worker?WorkSafe

Early Resolution Service – MBIE

Good Faith – Employment (Government NZ)

Ministry of Health website specifically relating to Covid-19


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