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Doctors among more than 8000  health care workers allowed unvaccinated or partially vaccinated during COVID

Summarised by Centrist 

A recent report reveals that over 8000 unvaccinated or partially vaccinated health workers continued to work during the COVID pandemic due to critical service demands. Included in that number were a reported 352 doctors.

RNZ reports that this exemption data was obtained under the Official Information Act. According to RNZ, “health providers – including district health boards, GP clinics and home-help agencies – made 516 applications for exemptions to avoid Significant Service Disruptions of which 102 were granted.”

The mandates were highly divisive and according to RNZ, had a limited impact on vaccination rates. In fact, they may have increased anti-vax sentiment and eroded trust in the government. 

Mandates were associated with decreased employment rates and earnings for the unvaccinated. They also exacerbated the healthcare sector’s workforce shortages.

Economics professor Gail Pacheo authored an AUT study on the mandates and said many exempted workers had received at least one dose of the vaccine, but suffered an adverse reaction. Pacheo says none involved in the study saw themselves as “anti-vaccine”. 

Editor’s note: See our coverage of 11,000 MoH exemptions here. We also note, this report is the first we recall disclosing how many doctors had been issued exemptions, albeit it’s less than 2% of all doctors in New Zealand. 

Read more over at RNZ

Image: Archives New Zealand

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