Businesses worried about ongoing lockdowns are being encouraged to get their staff vaccinated to prevent further lockdowns.
Covid-19 immunisations are progressing at a record rate, but with delta circulating in the community, everyone is being urged to get their shot at as soon as possible.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins today said Aotearoa had the capacity to be one of the most Covid-19 vaccinated countries in the world, but that was dependent on New Zealanders coming forward to get their shots.
But while many are heeding that call, businesses are being reminded that they too have a part to play in getting everyone vaccinated.
Ngāti Hine Health Trust’s chief executive Geoff Milner says the health sector has been the driving force behind vaccines up until now, but everyone needs to step up.
“My heart breaks for the hospitality industry right across New Zealand, but whilst your business is closed, have you encouraged your employees, picked them up, taken them to a vaccination clinic?”
“Or have you adopted a, ‘it’s their decision to make’ position?”
Milner said there had to be a better collaborative and creative approach to get everyone across the line.
Ngāti Hine gave out prizes at its Moerewa vaccination clinic a few weeks ago – food vouchers and electronics – but Milner said he is not convinced incentives are the right approach to access the under-50 age group.
“For that period of time, for two weeks, it was appropriate. Our sole focus for Ngāti Hine Health Trust is now going out to reach the communities, to take away the barriers that young people might perceive to be there.”
On Friday the Far North District Council is hosting a staff vaccination day, with teams at its Kaikohe offices available to give the immunisations.
There have been around 65 people register so far.
Other incentives include Steel and Tube paying staff $150 to get double vaccinated. Hipkins said while protection against Covid-19 should be enough of a motivation, he believed businesses should support staff to get vaccinated.
“One of the best things that they can do at this point is make sure people have the time to go and get vaccinated, and to fully support them in that decision. And we’re seeing really, really good support from employers for people to go and do that.”