It is now expected that optometrists, dispensing opticians and supporting staff will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by 1 December 2021 and receive their first dose by 30 October, in line with other health workers.
The amendment to the existing Covid-19 Public Health Response Order for mandatory vaccination was announced by the government on 11 October and is ‘likely’ to include optometrists, dispensing opticians and those who work alongside them in the workplace setting, said the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board (ODOB).
The roles required to be fully vaccinated by 1 December 2021 include:
- Regulated professions currently registered under the HPCA regulations
- Non-regulated professions in the following healthcare setting:
- Aged Residential Care Facilities (ARC)
- Home and Community Care Services (HCSS)
- Kaupapa Māori Health Providers, Pacific Health Providers and Non-Government Organisations who provide health services
- Roles undertaken by people who:
- are in frequent contact, face-to-face contact, or are in close proximity to healthcare workers providing a health service
- work where a health service is being provided
- do not necessarily provide a health service, but their role requires frequent contact/engagement with those providing health services and is considered tied to a role within a healthcare setting.
The ODOB said it is in continuous discussions with the Ministry of Health and will advise members as soon as more information becomes available.
For more, see https://www.odob.health.nz/