92% of Southern DHB staff fully vaccinated

Photo: ODT files
Dunedin Hospital. Photo: ODT files
About 95% of Southern District Health Board staff have had at least one Covid-19 vaccination.

A month ago, the Government announced that high-risk workers in the health and disability sector must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children have to have had at least their first dose of vaccine by Monday.

Yesterday, healthcare services organisation TAS released vaccination data for all 20 DHBs.

As of Monday, 95% of all SDHB staff had had a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 92% were fully vaccinated.

South Canterbury DHB had the best first vaccination rate, 98%, and the worst were Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and West Coast with 93%.

The DHB with the most fully vaccinated staff was Counties Manukau (94.7%), closely followed by Lakes (94.5%).

The DHB with the lowest rate of second doses was Taranaki (85%).

‘‘The figures will be increasing and they include clinical and non-clinical staff,’’ DHB spokeswoman Rosemary Clements said.

Under the Covid-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order, no affected health worker can perform their role after November 16 if not vaccinated, subject to a medical exemption or unless a ministerial exception has been granted.

‘‘DHBs are having ongoing discussions with staff who are not vaccinated,’’ Ms Clements said.

‘‘Staff will be stood down from November 16 unless they have a medical exemption or are subject to an exception.’’

According to its latest annual report, the SDHB employed 4993 people in Otago, Southland and Central Otago, but it has engaged dozens more staff in recent months to meet nursing safe staffing requirements and to manage demands due to Covid-19.

‘‘Given the high levels of DHB staff vaccinations, DHBs are confident that any impacts on service delivery, following the stand-down of any unvaccinated DHB staff, can be managed appropriately to ensure continuity of patient care,’’ Ms Clements said.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

 

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