The right to choose not to be immunised against Covid-19 - Part 2

M.R.M. made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Ministry of Health should normally have responded promptly and by (details and exceptions)

From: M.R.M.

Dear Ministry of Health,

On 11 August 2020 I made a request at https://fyi.org.nz/request/13503-the-rig...

In response I was advised by Jane Kelley, Director, Covid-19 Health System Response of the Ministry of Health that;

"No immunisations in New Zealand are compulsory and there are no plans to make a potential Covid-19 vaccination compulsory."

My attention was also drawn to the (then) Minister of Health, Hon. David Clark - who broke Covid-19 rules by travelling 2km.'s from his home and then mountain biked in the hills of Dunedin when NZ was in lockdown level 4 and we were all required to comply with the applicable rules of the time - saying in response to Oral Parliamentary question # 2 on 28 May 2020 that;

1. "This Government - and indeed, previous Governments - have never compelled any individual to get vaccinated against their wishes. That is not about to change. We will not force people to get immunised against their will."

2. "I would also note that there is a provision to refuse medical treatment under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act."

The words "compulsory" and "compelled" have one and the same meaning, as do the words "mandatory", "obligatory", "requisite", "necessary", "essential", "imperative", "inescapable" and "unavoidable."

It is irrefutable when considering the abovementioned statements that the Government did not agree with, or support, or intend to support in the future, mandating Covid-19 vaccination at the abovementioned time - a little more than a year ago - and, that this position gave recognition and paid respect to the right of all New Zealanders to voluntarily take the vaccination if they wished to exercise this choice.

I, and I am certain millions of other Kiwi's do too, want to know what caused such a radical change as to bring the Government to recently decide it is now mandatory that teachers and workers in the health and disability sectors be fully vaccinated as a condition of their employment (when most if not all of the Individual and Collective Employment Agreements in New Zealand do not require this as an health and safety related employment term and condition).

Notably too, with the New Zealand Government accepting and acknowledging - see 2. above - that Covid-19 vaccination is "medical treatment", can you please advise me which law or laws in New Zealand compel people to undergo Covid-19 treatment to address a public health issue but which recognizes and upholds the right to consent or not to such treatment?

Lastly, what is the Government's position in relation to the punitive measure for non-compliance which has and will continue to see workers being fired from their jobs for simply exercising their Bill of Rights Act endorsed right not to receive medical treatment by declining to have a Covid-19 vaccination?

Your fullest possible responses to the abovementioned questions would be appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

M.R.M.

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Kia ora,

 

Thank you for your request for official information received on 19 October
2021 for:

 

"1. Has Medsafe approved the safety and efficacy of Novovax vaccines?  If
not, what progress has been made in this area, and, when is this likely to
happen?

 

2.  What are the delivery timeframes of Novovax vaccines currently?

 

3.  Has consideration been given to the use of Novavax vaccines in New
Zealand, and if so what decision has been reached and the reasons for
that.

 

4.  Has a decision been reached not to use Novovax vaccines in New
Zealand, and if so what are the reasons for that.

 

5.  Has a decision been reached not to use Novovax vaccines in New
Zealand, and what are the consequences of agreeing to purchase 10.72
million doses ... in particular will there be  penalties payable for
breaching the agreement by withdrawing from or cancelling the agreement?

 

6.  Noting that it was also disclosed that New Zealand has bought enough
vaccines for the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Sâmoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu,
and if a decision has been reached not to use Novovax vaccines in New
Zealand, will the abovementioned agreement be honoured by the New Zealand
government through providing one or more of the aforementioned countries
with Novovax vaccines, and, if so what are the reasons for that?

 

7.  What is the cost to New Zealand of buying enough vaccines for the Cook
Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Sâmoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu?  Please provide the
fullest possible answer with cost breakdowns and giving me complete
disclosure of financial estimates, actual costings, etc.

 

8.  Why is New Zealand responsible for buying vaccines for the Cook
Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Sâmoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu when our health workers
have had a 3 year moratorium placed on salary increases, the cost of
living in New Zealand is robbing people of their hard-earned income and
leaving many families hungry, and, - in my opinion - we need to take care
of our own before we take care of anyone else?  Again, please provide the
fullest possible answer with cost breakdowns and giving me complete
disclosure of financial estimates, actual costings, etc.”

 

A secondary request for official information was received on 19 October
2021 for:

 

“..I, and I am certain millions of other Kiwi's do too, want to know what
caused such a radical change as to bring the Government to recently decide
it is now mandatory that teachers and workers in the health and disability
sectors be fully vaccinated as a condition of their employment (when most
if not all of the Individual and Collective Employment Agreements in New
Zealand do not require this as an health and safety related employment
term and condition).

 

Notably too, with the New Zealand Government accepting and acknowledging -
see 2. above - that Covid-19 vaccination is "medical treatment",  can you
please advise me which law or laws in New Zealand compel people to undergo
Covid-19 treatment to address a public health issue but which recognizes
and upholds the right to consent or not to such treatment?

 

Lastly, what is the Government's position in relation to the punitive
measure for non-compliance which has and will continue to see workers
being fired from their jobs for simply exercising their Bill of Rights Act
endorsed right not to receive medical treatment by declining to have a
Covid-19 vaccination?”

 

A third request for official information was received on 19 October 2021
for:

 

1.  On what date did the Pfizer Covid-19 and the BioNTech vaccine clinical
trials end? 

 

2.  If the Pfizer Covid-19 and the BioNTech vaccine clinical trials have
not yet ended, on what date will they end, or, on what date will they
likely end?

 

3.  If the Pfizer Covid-19 and the BioNTech vaccine clinical trials have
not yet ended, did Pharmac nonetheless approve their use in New Zealand,
and if so under what conditions did this happen?

 

4.  If the Pfizer Covid-19 and the BioNTech vaccine clinical trials have
not yet ended, this would mean that they are still in the experimental
phase of development.  In such circumstances, and with the Government
having taken on the liability of claims that may arise from use of the
Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines, what laws, regulations, rules, guidelines
etc. make it the responsibility of the Accident Compensation Corporation
to accept cover of injuries that are in all probability caused by vaccines
that have a) not been fully and properly trialed and b) are still in the
experimental phase of development?

 

The Ministry of Health has consolidated your requests under reference
number: H202114662.

 

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 17 November 2021, being
20 working days after the day your request was received.

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame.

 

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch.

 

Ngâ mihi

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [1][email address]

 

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora MRM,

 

Please find attached a response to your official information act request

 

Ngā mihi 

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [1][email address]

 

 

 

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From: M.R.M.

Dear OIA Requests,

You have attached a duplicate copy of a reply to another information request. In other words my request under the subject heading had not been responded to. Please do this as a matter of urgency.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

M.R.M.

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From: OIA Requests

Kia ora,

 

Thank you for your Official Information Act (the Act) request. This is
an automatic reply to let you know we received it.

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. We
will endeavour to acknowledge your request as soon as possible. Further
information about COVID-19 can be found on our
website: [1]https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...

 

In accordance with the Act, we'll let you know our decision within no more
than 20 working days. If you'd like to calculate the timeframe, you can
use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [2]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

If you have any questions while we're processing your request, please let
us know via [3][email address]

 

Ngā mihi  

OIA Services Team  

   

[4]Ministry of Health information releases  

[5]Unite against COVID-19 

 

 

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1. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...
2. http://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&a...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
5. https://covid19.govt.nz/

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