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By PHILIP CHANDLER

The jobs of a few non-vaxxed Wakatipu Medical Centre staff are on the line.

Senior doctor Val Miller confirms ‘‘a very, very few’’ staff — she won’t give a number but says it’s less than four — are undecided on getting jabbed.

Under a new government mandate, aimed at preventing Covid spreading, ‘‘high-risk’’
healthcare workers, including doctors, community nurses and those ‘‘in sites where vulnerable patients are treated’’, must receive their first vaccine dose by next Saturday, and their second by December 1.

‘‘People will have to make a decision, and it may not be compatible with being employed in a frontline position,’’ Miller says.

‘There has to be freedom of choice’: Wakatipu Medical Centre senior doctor Val Miller

Asked if at least one of her non-vaxxers is a GP, she replies: ‘‘I’m not going to confirm or deny that.’’

She says she won’t instruct recalcitrant staff to get jabbed: ‘‘No, because I do think there has to be freedom of choice.

‘‘It’s up to them, but … I’m happy to discuss it with them and share my knowledge on it.’’

As to whether she thinks they’ll all get jabbed in time, Miller says ‘‘I have no idea’’.

‘‘I wouldn’t be surprised if, as time goes on, some of them may well change their mind, but I can’t speak for all of them, everybody’s entitled to their personal view.’’

Miller, who’s practised in town for 37 years, and is also a local councillor, admits she was a hesitant vaxxer herself.

‘‘I waited until I had done enough reading and looked at the research and assessed the whole situation from a New Zealand-wide, family-wide and patient-wide perspective.’’

As to what clinched it for her, ‘‘I became quite confident in the science, in the end’’.

scoop@scene.co.nz