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Mandatory Vaccinations

Published 25 Oct 2021

The Government has added three more industry sectors to the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021:

  • Health & Disability sector
  • Education services
  • Prisons

These additional mandates extend the reach of the existing Health order already in place for all border workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since September 30th 2021.

Health & Disability sector

Following push-back from the Health industry telling the Government that the original Dec 1 deadline was unachievable has now been brought into alignment with the educational services. All workers in affected roles must have;

  • First dose – 23.59 hrs 15 November 2021
  • Second dose - 23.59 hrs 1 January 2022.

 Anyone in "high-risk" work including:

  • regulated professions currently registered under the HPCA regulations
  • non-regulated healthcare work, such as:
    • aged residential care
    • home and community support services
    • kaupapa Maori health providers
    • Pacific Health Providers
    • non-government organisations who provide health services.
  • roles undertaken by people who:
    • are in frequent contact, face-to-face contact, or are in close proximity to healthcare workers providing a health service
    • work where a health service is being provided
    • do not necessarily provide a health service, but their role requires frequent contact/engagement with those providing health services and is considered tied to a role within a healthcare setting.

Education services

All workers in affected roles must have;
  • First dose – 23.59 hrs 15 November 2021
  • Second dose - 23.59 hrs 1 January 2022.

All schools and early learning services and providers will need to maintain a register, and ensure only vaccinated staff, including support people have contact with children and students.

This will include contractors, maintenance staff, aides and anyone who could have contact with children.

Secondary schools also need to keep a register of student vaccination status. Students who cannot provide evidence of vaccination must be considered unvaccinated.

All school employees in Auckland and all other Alert Level 3 regions will be required to return a negative COVID-19 test result before they can return to the workplace.

Those who are not fully vaccinated in the period leading up to 1st January 2022 must also be tested weekly for COVID-19.

Currently this does not affect universities and tertiary education providers.


All workers in affected roles must have;
  • First dose – 23.59 hrs 6 November 2021
  • Second dose – 23.59 hrs 8 December 2021

Staff members of a prison and people employed or engaged by a contractor or sub-contractor to provide services to a prison such as health care workers and psychologists.

Following examples set with the Border workers mandate earlier this year and the subsequent upheld court cases, termination is justified following due process. This requires significant consultation with affected staff, including a demonstration that the role is definitely covered by the relevant Health Order, the staff member wishes to remain unvaccinated and redeployment or alternative options are considered.

The amended Health Order is very clear that the first vaccination dose date must be heeded too for affected staff to legally remain in their roles.


Exemptions from vaccinations in mandated sectors can be sought from the Minister of COVID-19 Response (Chris Hipkins). They are assessed on a case by case basis. A company (PCBU) should apply on the behalf of a worker, and indications from the Ministry of Health are that exemptions will seldom be granted.

For more information on getting exemptions see this link: