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Union Welcomes Border Workers Given Priority For COVID-19 Vaccine

E tū supports the Government’s commitment ensuring that border workers and their families are prioritised in the roll-out of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said workers such as cleaners, nurses who undertake health checks in MIQ, security staff, customs and border officials, airline staff and hotel workers will be among the first to be vaccinated.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was given provisional approval by Medsafe today. The vaccines are expected to arrive in New Zealand by the end of the first quarter.

E tū Assistant National Secretary Annie Newman says the priority status is fantastic news for both border workers and their families.

“Protecting our members at work and keeping them and their families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an ongoing concern for E tū.

“It’s a relief to know that their health and safety is considered a top priority.”

Annie says the union would like to see workers in care professions, such as aged care and home support, also given priority after the roll-out to border workers.

“During the lockdown, we saw that PPE was extremely slow and was not done with these workers in mind. We also need to make sure that workers on the frontlines in healthcare are taken into account, with worker consultation and rights at the forefront of any future processes.”

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