COVID-19: Mandatory vaccinations

Certain roles in our border, health and disability, corrections, defence, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) and Police workforces must be vaccinated and have received a booster vaccination against COVID-19.

Last updated: 16 May 2022

On this page:

See also:


Why vaccinations are mandatory

Mandatory vaccinations for certain workforces are in place for those who work with the most vulnerable, are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 or being exposed to any new variants.

This includes border and MIQ workforces, those who work in the health and disability sector and Corrections.

There are also a number of workers who are also covered by the health and disability or border vaccination mandates because of the work they do. This includes some workers from Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ), Police and Defence.

While each workforce has its own set of risk factors, vaccination is a vital measure they have in common for reducing infection and transmission.

While most people in these sectors have already been vaccinated, and many have received booster doses, complete protection across these sectors is critical to the country’s successful management of COVID-19.


Health and disability sector

While the amended COVID-19 Vaccination Order does not list specific types of practitioners that are included, it does include roles and physical settings that are covered. This includes:

  • health practitioners
  • workers who work in close proximity to health practitioners providing services to members of the public (for example, reception and administration staff in general practice, shop assistants in community pharmacies)
  • workers employed or engaged by certified providers, which includes workers at a facility providing hospital care, rest home care, residential disability care or fertility services (for example, anyone working in a hospital setting such as laundry staff, orderly, administration staff, or rest home staff like kitchen and cleaning staff)
  • care and support workers who are employed or engaged to carry out work that includes going to the home or place of resident of another person (including those living in the home or place of residence of a family member) to provide care and support services funded by the Ministry of Health, a DHB or ACC.

Refer to the list below of health practitioners. The listed roles are all required to be vaccinated.

Everyone else is not a health practitioner, so whether they fall under the order or not will depend on whether:

  • they carry out work where health services are provided to members of the public by one or more health practitioners (listed below) and whose role involves being within two metres or less of a health practitioner or a member of the public for a period of 15 minutes or more
  • they work in a facility that is certified by HealthCERT (hospitals, rest homes, residential care facilities, fertility facilities)
  • they are a care and support worker, as defined in the order.
Professions regulated under the HPCA Act 2003

Profession

Responsible authority

Chiropractic

Chiropractic Board

Dentistry, dental hygiene, clinical dental technology,
dental technology, dental therapy and oral health therapy

Dental Council

Dietetics

Dietitians Board

Medical laboratory science, anaesthetic technology

Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand

Medical imaging and radiation therapy

Medical Radiation Technologists Board

Medicine

Medical Council of New Zealand

Midwifery

Midwifery Council

Nursing

Nursing Council of New Zealand

Occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy Board

Optometry and optical dispensing

Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Osteopathy

Osteopathic Council

Paramedics

Paramedic Council

Pharmacy

Pharmacy Council

Physiotherapy 

Physiotherapy Board

Podiatry

Podiatrists Board

Psychology

Psychologists Board

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapists Board

Guidance document for PCBUs and workers

Please note this guidance is been updated with the new mandated dates for booster vaccinations, which has changed to before the 25 February 2022, if eligible.

When health and disability staff must be vaccinated

Any health and disability workers (employed or voluntary, private and public) who fall under these roles must receive their first dose of the vaccine by 11.59pm 15 November 2021. They must receive their second dose by 1 January 2022. If eligible for booster, they are required to have this by 11.59pm Thursday 24 February 2022 (Changed from 15 February, in line with the changes to the Vaccinations Order that came into effect at 11.59pm, 14 February 2022)

Note: if you are not eligible for a booster dose by these dates then you should receive a booster dose 6 months (183 days) after your completion your primary course. We are recommending however, to plan to get your booster as soon as the three months has passed. 

Healthcare and disability workers have been prioritised for vaccination against COVID-19 since March 2021.


Corrections sector

It is mandatory for certain roles in the corrections sector to be fully vaccinated, including:

  • all staff who work in prisons
  • health care staff working in prisons
  • psychologists working across the organisation
  • many contracted providers and people who provide services in prisons
  • all other regulated professions currently registered under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act regulations
  • Contracted providers and people who provide services in prisons
  • Non-prison-based staff who are required to enter prisons ‘inside the wire’ for their work

Private visitors such as family members, statutory visitors to prisons such as the Ombudsman and legal advisors will not be covered by the Order.

Corrections staff who carry out work that involves providing health services will be required to adhere to Health and Disability mandated dates for vaccinations.

When Corrections staff must be vaccinated

Corrections staff who are covered by the health and disability mandated dates, must have received their booster vaccination if eligible, by 11.59pm Thursday 24 February 2022 (Changed from 11.59pm 14 February, in line with the changes to the Vaccinations Order that came into effect at 11.59pm, 14 February 2022).

They needed to have received their first dose of the vaccine by 11.59pm 29 November 2021 and their second dose by 11.59pm 14 January 2022.

Other custodial staff must have their booster vaccination by 1 March 2022, if eligible. 

They needed to have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11.59pm 6 November 2021, and their second dose by 11.59pm 8 December.

Note: if you are not eligible for a booster dose by these dates then you should receive a booster dose 6 months (183 days) after your completion your primary course. We are recommending however, to plan to get your booster as soon as the three months has passed. 


Education sector

The mandate for early childhood and schooling education workers (Schedule 2 Part 9) of the Vaccinations Order was removed as at 11.59pm on Monday 4 April 2022.

If you are an employer in this sector and want more information on COVID-19 vaccinations risk assessments these can be found at Worksafe


Fire and Emergency New Zealand

It is now mandatory for Fire and Emergency New Zealand workers in certain roles to be vaccinated and have received their booster vaccination because of the work they carry out. Including:

  • Operational firefighter roles
  • Operational support units
  • Group, District and Region managers
  • Urban Search and Rescue roles.

Fire and Emergency firefighters and other operational personnel  - who carry out work which requires them to be within two metres, for more than 15 minutes, of a Health Practitioner or Paramedic providing health services to the public  - will be required to adhere to Health and Disability mandated dates for vaccinations

When Fire and Emergency personnel must be vaccinated

They needed to have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11.59pm 29 November 2021, and their second dose by 11.59pm 14 January 2022. If eligible for a booster, they are required to have had this by 11.59pm Thursday 24 February 2022.

Note: if you are not eligible for a booster dose by these dates then you should receive a booster dose 6 months (183 days) after completion of your primary course. We are recommending however, to plan to get your booster as soon as the three months has passed. 


Police

It is mandatory for Police employees in certain roles to be vaccinated and receive a booster.

When Police employees must receive booster vaccinations

  1. MIQ workers must receive a booster by 15 February 2022 or within 183 days of receiving their second dose, whichever is the later date.
  2. Sworn employees, Authorised Officers and Non-sworn employee health practitioners who provide in person health services must receive a booster by 11.59pm Thursday 24 February 2022 (Changed from 11.59pm 14 February, in line with the changes to the Vaccinations Order that came into effect at 11.59pm, 14 February 2022). or within 183 days of receiving their second dose, whichever is the later date.
  3. Sworn employees, Authorised Officers and Non-sworn employees who work closely alongside health practitioners who are providing health services must receive a booster by 11.59pm Thursday 24 February 2022 (Changed from 11.59pm 14 February, in line with the changes to the Vaccinations Order that came into effect at 11.59pm, 14 February 2022) or within 183 days of receiving their second dose, whichever is the later date.

Defence Force

Defence staff who are covered by the health and disability mandated dates, must have received their booster vaccination if eligible, by 11.59pm Thursday 24 February 2022 (Changed from 11.59pm 14 February, in line with the changes to the Vaccinations Order that came into effect at 11.59pm 14 February 2022).

If you are not eligible for a booster dose by these dates then you should receive a booster dose 6 months (183 days) after your completion your primary course. We are recommending however, to plan to get your booster as soon as the three months has passed. 


Mandatory booster information  

There are different mandated dates for when booster vaccinations are required for the workforces covered by the Vaccinations Order. These are: 

  • Border and MIQ workforces, if eligible for a booster, are required to have this by 15 February 2022 this includes any workers covered by this mandated dates because of the work they undertake in Defence and Police
  • Health and Disability workforces, if eligible for a booster, are required to have this by 25 February 2022 – this includes any workers covered by these health mandated dates because of the work they undertake in Corrections, FENZ, Defence, and Police
  • Corrections (custodial staff), if eligible for a booster, are required to have this by 1 March 2022 

The Vaccinations Order mandates that a booster dose is required by six months (183 days) from the end of the primary vaccination course.  If the mandated date of your booster dose for your workforce falls before the date your vaccine booster shot is due (which is six months after completion of your primary course), you are not required to get your booster until you reach the six-month threshold. However, you are eligible for a vaccine booster shot from three months after the completion of your primary vaccine course and we recommend you take the opportunity for an earlier dose, rather than wait the full six months.

You must be 18 years or older to receive a booster dose. If you have people who work for you, who are under 18 years old and have had their primary vaccination course, they are able to continue to work.   

Although the Vaccinations Order requires a booster dose six months after the primary course of vaccines, we would like to encourage all employers to support staff to get their booster vaccinations at three months (if clinically appropriate).   

Anyone who has had their second vaccination three months ago are eligible to have their booster from now.  Details on how to book an appointment can be found on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.


Related information

In this section

Back to top