A new poll shows strong public support for vaccine mandates continues for certain workforces, even as protests emerge across the country.
The latest 1News Colmar Brunton Poll showed 74 per cent of those polled supported mandates currently in place for teachers, health care workers, port, border, and prison workers.
There were 20 per cent opposed and 6 per cent did not know.
It showed similar results to the Talbot Mills Research poll a month ago, which found 79 per cent of those polled agreed with a vaccine mandate for health workers, while 72 per cent agreed to one for teachers.
Millions of New Zealand workers will soon be covered by mandates to be vaccinated against Covid-19, or potentially be forced to leave their jobs.
They include in education and the health and disability sectors, both in which workers were required to have had their first jab by Monday, with reports thousands of people may have walked away from their jobs. Workers in those sectors will need to be fully vaccinated by January 1.
The exact numbers of those who have left their jobs is unknown, but about two or three per cent of DHB workers, about 2000, are estimated to be unvaccinated.
Once the traffic light system kicks in, some time soon after Cabinet’s meeting on November 29, many places deemed high risk will be covered by mandates, requiring people to have vaccine certificates.
Employers not covered by the mandate will also be able to use their own discretion in requiring workers to be vaccinated.
Vaccine mandates were part of protests last week, including outside Parliament.
The mandates, used around the world, have broad political support and from the public, as indicated by numerous polls.
The latest 1News Colmar Brunton Poll found those more likely to support the mandates were Labour Party supporters (at 86 per cent), people with an annual household income over $150,000 (85 per cent) and people aged 55 and older (81 per cent).
The poll was conducted between November 6 and 10, and included 1001 eligible voters with a maximum sample error of +/- 3.1 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence level.
The mandates here are built around the public health response. Initially they were focused on border workers and those in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, to help keep the virus out, and frontline health workers caring for those who had contracted the virus.
As it became increasingly difficult to eliminate the virus, the focus of mandates turned to workplaces where employees could come into contact with vulnerable people – people still at high risk despite being vaccinated themselves.
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