Overseas jabs of border workers now recognised

Source: 1News

A law change has recognised vaccinations given overseas to those working at New Zealand's border.

Early lab tests indicate antibodies triggered by the vaccine fight the British and South African variants.

The legislation change came into effect at 11.59pm on Sunday. 

It means the Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines administered overseas are now recognised by the Vaccinations Order.

"This move will support employers to enable workers who have completed their course with the Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, or Pfizer vaccines overseas to work on or around the border," said Fiona Michel, who is the acting national director operations for the Covid-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme.

"It will also support some employers when recruiting people to work on or around the border, especially for specialised roles."

"Under the previous version of the Vaccinations Order, their vaccination status was not recognised. But these are all vaccines that are either provisionally approved by Medsafe, or by a trusted regulator," Michel said. 

"The amendment updates the Vaccinations Order so that it’s consistent with clinical advice on the alternatives to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

"When the original Vaccinations Order was written, the Pfizer vaccine was the only Covid-19 vaccine provisionally approved by Medsafe. The change aligns the Order with Medsafe’s provisional approval of two of these other vaccines."

The change means border workers who have received one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines while overseas will need to have a dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Border workers who have been vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine while overseas will not require a further dose of the Pfizer vaccine.