COVID-19 Vaccination Update

The NZPFU is expecting confirmation shortly that firefighters who respond to MIQs and undertake medical response will be included in the high-risk front line workers vaccination roll-out.

The NZPFU has been pushing for confirmation of when firefighters can expect to be offered a Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccination as part of the Government rollout.  As professional career firefighters respond to MIQ facilities and medical response it is imperative that they are recognised by the Ministry as high risk health workers for the purposes of the Covid-19 vaccination.  The NZPFU have repeatedly raised the lack of confirmation of the firefighters’ status in the Government’s vaccination plan with FENZ and has raised it with relevant Ministers and the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.

We understand that the status of firefighters who respond to MIQ facilities and undertake medical response has now been accepted by the Ministry of Health and the roll-out of the vaccination will be offered shortly.

In addition, some firefighters may be offered a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine earlier where DHB’s notify of surplus vaccinations as they are vaccinating Border and MIQ personnel and other high-risk front line health workers. 

FENZ and the NZPFU representatives are currently working through the process to enable firefighters to voluntarily access surplus vaccinations.  There are specific logistics that need to be managed in order to safely offer the surplus vaccinations.    There are strict storage and handling protocols for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which requires the vial to be used within a short time frame.  DHBs have been reporting lower discard rates than expected so have been able to extract more doses per vial.  That has resulted in surplus vaccinations that need to be used within the required protocols.  Those offered the surplus vaccination also have to be scheduled within the required timeframe to receive the necessary second dose.  In addition our representatives are working through the practicalities of firefighters being available to access those vaccinations including the implications if that is on-shift or off-shift.  We will keep members informed.

The vaccination is voluntary and everyone has a right to keep their medical information confidential including whether or not they are vaccinated.

In preparation of being offered the vaccine, we encourage members to read the available information on the vaccine.  Below are links to understand the Government vaccination plan and specific information about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.  If you have underlying medical conditions or personal health questions we advise members to discuss those with their GP so that an informed decision can be made.

The NZPFU position and provision about the vaccination programme was published via

Information links

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

Related Articles


Breaking News

Tamaki Makaurau Flooding, State of Local Civil Defence Emergency

Last nights unprecedented weather event caused widespread havoc across the region with Fire and Emergency career and volunteer crews, operational support and 111 emergency dispatchers working to exhaustion, with all available FENZ resources at times being mobilised to incidents right across the region.

Season’s Greetings and Office Hours

The Auckland Local wishes all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The Auckland Office will be closed from the afternoon of Friday 23 December 2022, reopening on Monday 9 January 2023.

Ratification Meeting next Tuesday 13th Dec at 5pm

As you will be well aware by now, we have finally reached an agreed term of settlement in the negotiation for a new CEA. The NZPFU is recommending members accept it and ratify the settlement offer. The National Committee has completely wrung out the sponge for every possible drop of benefit to members, and it's now our turn to act.