70,000 Kiwis temporarily exempt from producing vaccine pass

Source: 1News

Around 70,000 Kiwis will be issued temporary exemptions from being required to produce a My Vaccine Pass while they await assistance obtaining them.

Vaccine pass (file photo).

The temporary exemption, to be emailed out on Thursday, is a record of the individual’s request for assistance and has a unique identifier, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

It can be shown to businesses and organisations requiring a My Vaccine Pass, and will be valid until 11.59pm on December 14, 2021.

The ministry says more than 95 per cent of people who requested a My Vaccine Pass have received one and are ready for New Zealand to move to the traffic light system on Friday.

However, there are currently around 70,000 requests for assistance, including people who need to add international vaccinations to their New Zealand record; people who need their name changed; and people whose records have other errors that need to be corrected.

“While this represents a small per centage of the 3 million My Vaccine Passes that have been issued to date, it is important these individuals are not unfairly disadvantaged when New Zealand moves to the Covid Protection Framework tonight,” the Ministry’s group manager for national digital services, Michael Dreyer, said.

“The temporary exemption is a pragmatic measure in response to the unprecedented demand our call centres are facing. We have scaled up our processing team significantly, but it is likely that not every request will be able to be resolved by tomorrow.”

Anyone waiting to hear back from their call centre or service desk has been urged to keep track of their emails, including their junk folder.

“If your My Vaccine Pass is not available today, you will get an exemption email tonight,” he said.

“Over the next few days we will also be phoning people who have outstanding requests with us but who have not provided an email address.”

People can obtain their My Vaccine Pass online from the My Covid Record website, or with assistance through participating pharmacies, general practices, hauora, and DHB vaccination clinics.

Dreyer said they “will continue to have surge capacity in our call centres and wider processing team through the weekend and early next week”.

“If you need to contact our call centre, we want to hear from you but please be patient. Our staff are working hard to help people generate their My Vaccine Pass as quickly as possible.”