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Low vaccination numbers putting officers at risk

The Government’s failure to prioritise the vaccination of frontline police officers is putting their safety at risk, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

So far only 2669 frontline police officers are fully vaccinated and just under 3000 have received their first dose.

“There are more than 10,000 frontline police officers across the country who are needed to keep Kiwis safe during lockdown. These low vaccination rates are not only an unjustified risk to frontline officers, but also to the public.

“The Government’s failure to prioritise police officers being vaccinated shows it doesn’t value the work and the difficult task our police have to keep everyone safe during a national lockdown.

“It is unfair on police officers who have to go out into the public to make sure the rules are being followed while facing the risk of exposure to Covid-19, these same officers then go home to their families and risk their exposure.

“The Government was very quick to prioritise other essential frontline workers to receive their Covid-19 vaccine while leaving the majority of the police force exposed. It begs the question, why did the Government not consider vaccinating police officers as a priority when they have been at the front of the country’s Covid-19 response?

“Police officers need to be fully vaccinated immediately. The Government needs to get on with it and make sure our officers are safe while doing their job keeping the rest of New Zealand safe.”

Notes to editors: WPQ 33810 (2021) is attached.

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