In early August 2023, an OIA HNZ00023978 inquiry raised an important question regarding operational exemptions for individuals not receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, based on the 2021 legislation.
The query focused on the process of obtaining an operating exemption under clause 12a. Matt Hannant, the Interim Director of Prevention at the National Public Health Service, Te Whatu Ora, provided the following response:
From 13 November 2021 to 26 September 2022, a total of 478 applications for Significant Service Disruption exemption (SSD) were received. 103 applications were granted, covering approximately 11,005 workers. Please note that it is not possible to provide the exact number of workers that were covered by SSDs. This is because it was possible for an organisation to submit an application to cover more than one worker.
The inquiry then delved into the extent of Ministry of Health staff and associated contractors who received vaccine exemptions. Through discreet inquiries, it was revealed that in the Dunedin region alone, 95 consultants obtained vaccine exemptions. Additionally, a group of doctors in Northland collectively opted not to receive the vaccine. The total count potentially reached into the hundreds.
These exemptions came with confidentiality agreements, preventing recipients from disclosing their exempt status. This secretive process was intentionally shielded from public view by the Ministry of Health.
This situation led to a peculiar scenario where medical professionals, despite being unvaccinated themselves, were obligated to advise their patients to get vaccinated, potentially breeding hypocrisy within the healthcare system.
This process had the endorsement of Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, who gained notoriety for denying vaccine exemptions to those who experienced severe reactions to their initial jab, insisting on adherence to the vaccination schedule.
The criteria for granting exemptions were primarily based on the criticality of the staff’s roles within the healthcare system. Senior personnel and key surgical positions were in a position to insist on remaining unvaccinated and still be permitted to work. Conversely, unvaccinated nurses were unable to secure exemptions and consequently lost their positions.
Had senior staff who opted to remain unvaccinated spoken out publicly, it might have prompted a broader discussion on Covid vaccine safety. However, both the Ministry of Health and the government kept a tight grip on any discourse, utilizing mainstream and social media outlets for censorship.
The decision of senior medical staff to abstain from vaccination might be attributed to their awareness of a 2019 paper in the Frontiers in Oncology Journal highlighting concerns about gene therapy.
Despite the reservations of senior medical consultants, who were in a unique position to make an informed risk assessment, the government continued to advocate for vaccination. This stance contradicts subsequent research findings demonstrating the vaccine’s lack of efficacy and potential risks.
The data on excess deaths in OECD nations in 2023 further highlights the complex issue surrounding Covid-19 vaccination. Highly vaccinated nations saw an elevated rate of excess deaths, challenging the assumption that vaccination leads to fewer deaths.
In conclusion, the controversy surrounding vaccine exemptions and safety underscores the need for transparency and open discussion in healthcare policy-making. The impacts of these decisions have far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities, necessitating a thorough reevaluation of current approaches.