Sunday, November 28

PM Jacinda Ardern: ‘We have not taken lightly the decision that some areas require vaccination’

PM Jacinda Ardern says it was always her opinion that the government would not force all New Zealanders to get vaccinated and that opinion has not changed.

PM Jacinda Ardern addresses the media in Whanganui.

PM Jacinda Ardern addresses the media in Whanganui.
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

See PM’s media here:

Ardern did not show up for a planned media event at a vaccination clinic in Whanganui, where a group of about 200 anti-vaccination protesters gathered.

He then gave a stand-up at a new location just after 1.20pm and said he was not taking the protest personally and was not surprised.

Whanganui’s vaccination rates are below the national average.

On the stand-up, Ardern said: “We are at a stage in the launch of the vaccine where we are trying to reach out to communities that may have strong opinions. But we need to have those conversations and just talking to some of our professionals In health, her goal is to talk to everyone where possible to have those conversations about why it is so important for people to get vaccinated. “

On teachers who may be on the verge of losing their jobs due to the government’s vaccination mandate, Ardern said: “We have not taken lightly the decision that some areas require vaccination. It has taken a lot of discussion and careful thinking and we have focused in those groups that we consider high risk. “

On whether the mandates have destroyed social cohesion and forced some to corner themselves, Ardern said that while it may have had that effect on some, on others it forced a conversation and made people ask questions.

“We had the experience of having implemented this for our border workers and what we noticed was that by setting a date, those who had questions, sought advice, spoke to trusted health professionals and then made a decision.”

On his statement at the beginning of the pandemic that vaccines would never be forced on anyone, but the mandates seem to contradict that, Ardern said it was always his point of view that the government would not force all New Zealanders to get vaccinated and that point of view it hadn’t changed. . They do not.

“These are certain workforces and workplaces, where we have applied the assessment of whether or not we have a duty to care for the most vulnerable.”

“We have protected ourselves from demanding vaccines where we have to make sure that people always, whatever happens, can access health services, food, government support. We have been very clear, we will not need or ever need vaccination certificates to access to food, government benefits, access to the services that people need to live. “

Ardern said plans to visit Auckland have yet to come to fruition as his schedule has still been drawn up to meet commitments at the border and in Parliament.

Vaccination efforts across the country are in full swing as district health boards work to achieve complete vaccination rates of 90 percent.

Only five district health boards have reached the milestone of the first hits: Capital and Coast, Auckland, Waitematā, Canterbury and, just yesterday, Southern DHB.

The Counties Manukau District Board of Health is on the final stretch to reach the 90 percent first dose milestone, just 3,951 injections away.

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