Vaccines another welcome tool to manage COVID-19

The Government’s announcement today confirming the prioritised roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine will give Kiwis confidence of the country’s ongoing commitment to managing the pandemic.

EMA Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says the free vaccinations, beginning next Saturday for border workers, is confirmation of the Government’s ongoing efforts to keep everyone safe.

"We are focused on working with Government to provide our business members with good science and evidence-based information to employers to ensure they can guide their people," he says.

The EMA was also expecting to have an up-tick in the calls to its AdviceLine and COVID-19 Business Helpline from employers seeking advice on how to manage this in their workplace.

"Employers cannot compel their people to have the vaccine, but they can provide with them all the facts they need to make their own choice and encourage them to do so," he says.

Mr O’Riley reiterates that good hygiene is still the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 whether you have been vaccinated, and includes:

- Not going to work when you are sick (and using the recently announced STAP)

- Washing your hands with soap and water often

- Coughing or sneezing into your elbow

- Using the NZ COVID-Tracer App to record where you have been

"We are keen to see the impact of increased vaccination rates on advancing the opening of our borders over time, once the vaccine has been made available beyond priority groups from mid-2021," he says.