Vaccinations and work

Some workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to go to work. Find more information on who needs to be vaccinated.

Who must be vaccinated

Some health and disability sector workers are required to be vaccinated, because they come into close contact with people who are likely to get seriously ill if they get COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (Vaccinations Order)  describes who in the health and disability sector is covered by the Vaccinations Order.

Booster doses

COVID-19 booster vaccinations are also mandated for workforces covered by the Vaccinations Order.

This means workers in these sectors must get a booster within 6 months (183 days) of completing their primary vaccination course.

Which vaccines you can get

Eight vaccines commonly administered overseas are recognised for workers who fall under a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination order.

The recognised vaccines are:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • AstraZeneca (Oxford)
  • AstraZeneca/Covishield (Serum Institute of India)
  • Moderna
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac)
  • Covaxin (Bharat Biotech)
  • Novavax (Nuvaxovid, NVX-CoC2373)
  • Janssen (Johnson and Johnson).

The primary course of vaccination means 2 doses for all the recognised vaccines except Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) — only 1 dose is required for this vaccine.

Temporary medical exemptions

You may be able to get a temporary exemption from being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination | Ministry of Health (external link)

If your business is not covered by the Vaccinations Order

If your employees are not covered by the vaccine mandate, you can choose if you want to require your employees to be fully vaccinated as a condition of their employment.

Employers must carry out a health and safety risk assessment and consider all other public health measures they can use to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in their workplace.

Vaccinations can only be used as a measure if the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 at work is higher than it is in the community.

Before you decide if vaccination requirements are appropriate for your workplace, we encourage you to read the guidance on Employment New Zealand and WorkSafe New Zealand for advice.

COVID-19 controls at work – employer vaccination requirements | WorkSafe (external link)

Vaccines and the workplace | Employment New Zealand (external link)

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