NZEI Te Riu Roa says educators across schools and early childhood services will be pleased that the Ministry of Education has announced one-off funding to cover their flu vaccinations undertaken between now and 30 June 2020.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford welcomed the news, after raising the issue publicly.
The Ministry of Education has said that schools and centres with existing vaccination programmes for staff will be reimbursed, and it is working on developing a programme for those who don't.
"Once vaccination programmes are in place I strongly encourage all staff across the education sector who have contact with children to get immunised as soon as possible," he says. "Staff should talk to their school leaders or centre managers about what their workplace's plans are for taking up the Ministry's funding."
"Any outbreak of respiratory illness in a school or centre would cause a lot of alarm and disruption until Covid-19 could be ruled out. So as our educators move to the front line in the reopening of Aotearoa, it makes sense to protect them and their students in this way."
Mr Rutherford also welcomed an expansion of the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme which will enable education providers to access funding for those who need to take leave because of Ministry of Health guidelines.
The vaccination funding for workers in education includes:
- Any person employed or contracted as teaching, childcare staff, including specialist education professionals and others who provide support, for example children with additional learning needs.
- Any person employed by or contracted to an educational facility.