Leading surgeon says Kiwis blissfully unaware about importance of vaccine mandates
A leading surgeon says New Zealand's vaccine mandates have been the key to keeping COVID-19 deaths low and our hospitals running smoothly.
It comes after anti-mandate protesters camped out at Parliament for 23 days. While the protesters were eventually removed many have re-grouped around the country. They are calling for the immediate removal of all vaccine mandates.
Vaccination is mandatory for workers across several sectors including border, health, education, police, Defence Force, Corrections, Fire and Emergency, and close contact businesses that operate using vaccine certificates under the traffic light system.
While Omicron is milder than previous variants, it is far more transmissible, meaning because of the sheer number of people getting infected, hospitalisations are far higher now that at any other point in the pandemic.
Those who are unvaccinated are far more likely to end up in hospital, with daily Ministry of Health data showing they are overrepresented in hospitalisation statistics for the small proportion of the population they make up.