NZDSA Covid-19 Bulletin Update
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The NZDSA focus for the COVID-19 Bulletin is to sift through all the information about COVID-19 and then collate and share information that is most pertinent to the Down syndrome community. 

The amendment to the Order now requires all people providing care and support service to a person in their home to be vaccinated.  This change in the Order now also applies to paid family in the home, unless there is an exemption.  Exemptions can only be granted by the Director General (Ashley Bloomfield) on the advice of a medical doctor or nurse practitioner with current practicing certificates.  

If you receive payment for providing care and support to a family members even if it is in your home you will need to be fully vaccinated as per the mandate.  The penalty for noncompliance or infringement will be fines.


The Ministry of Health is encouraging everyone to check that your vaccination record and details are correct.    

Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 12 and over can now view their COVID-19 vaccination records online via My Covid Record.

You can also download vaccination status certificates for use in New Zealand and overseas.

Whether or not you want a vaccination certificate right now, it’s a good idea to visit My Covid Record | Ministry of Health NZ to check that your vaccination record and details are correct.

To sign on you’ll need to provide proof of your identity.  At the moment there are six options available: a driver’s licence, a passport (New Zealand or Australian), birth certificate (New Zealand or Australian) or citizenship certificate.Other forms of ID are being considered and will be added over time.

If you don’t have internet access and want to get a vaccine pass or international travel certificate, the My Covid Record support team will be able to check your details. It can send you a certificate by email or post.  The help team is available on 0800 222 478 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.  You can also email them on

For more information: My Covid Record: Proof of vaccination status | Ministry of Health NZ


The NZDSA is pleased to be working with Skylight Trust to host two sessions in the wellbeing series. 

Both session will include Q and A time. 

These sessions will be recorded so please mute your microphone until you ask a question.  

Both sessions will be presented by Kyra Lindsey

Presenter Bio:

Kyra joined the Skylight Trust Team in September, 2021 and is employed as a counsellor based within four schools in the Waikato.

Kyra qualified as a counsellor in 2002 and since that time has been employed as a counsellor in various roles supporting children and their family/whanau.

Funded by Lottery COVID-19 Community Wellbeing Fund

Topic: Strengthening ourselves through challenging times online session for parents, family whānau.   Professionals welcome.


  • How to support children/young people improve their emotional wellbeing and resilience.

  • Strengthening our awareness of when a child/young person is needing extra support, and what to do.

  • Self-care - the importance of making time for you.

  • Coping skills - practical ideas explored to use in self-management of daily challenges

A presentation to support whānau of children and young people with Down Syndrome.

Date: Tuesday 23rd Nov 2021 Auckland, Wellington

Time: 07:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting -

Meeting ID: 896 7786 0675

Passcode: 900565

Join Zoom Meeting

Topic: Strengthening my skill set online presentation for youth and adults with Down syndrome 


  • Thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

  • What to do when having big feelings?

  • How to express our feelings in safe ways

  • Being kind to ourselves

  • Calming skills

  • Changes. 

  • How to cope with change.

  • What we can and can't control.

  • Coping skills.

Date: Monday 29th November, 2021

Time: 07:00 PM Auckland, Wellington

Join Zoom Meeting -

Meeting ID: 871 2253 5861

Passcode: 113875

Join Zoom Meeting

The Prime Minister and Minister for Disability Issues launched an ‘accelerated effort’ to support disabled people to get safely vaccinated against Covid-19.

While visiting a ‘super accessible’ vaccination site in Lower Hutt late last month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a major announcement emphasising the importance of making sure the Government and providers made every effort to lift vaccination rates of disabled people.

‘As has been rightly pointed out to me, despite the fact we have reasonably good levels of vaccination rates amongst our disabled community, the vast majority of those members of that community will have been part of the earliest rollout of the campaign.  We have work to do to make sure that we continue to lift those rates, given the time that vaccination has been available.

‘Not only do we have accessible sites to visit, we need to make sure we also have the ability for people to reach those sites – overcoming any transport issues that may exist, or any issues with being able to share the information that is required to reach those sites.

‘But it’s more than that.  As with every other part of our vaccination campaign we have to make sure we are providing the information that every community needs when making a decision to be vaccinated.  That may range from whether or not the vaccination interacts in any way with medications, or other questions that may relate to very specific and personalised health needs.  We need to ensure that we are providing the time and the space to answer those questions.’

The Prime Minister pledged to ‘commit ourselves again to serving and meeting the needs of every member of our community as part of our community response to Covid 19 – and in particular, making sure we meet the needs of our disabled people’.


On the same day, Minister for Disability issues Carmel Sepuloni launched the Government’s new online graphic tool The Manaakitanga Journey to getting vaccinated for disabled people.  The tool captures in six steps how and where disabled people can get information and support: about the vaccine itself, and the ways vaccination sites can support people with a particular disability, condition or impairment to make the experience as easy as possible.  This includes accommodations like booking an NZSL interpreter, longer appointment times, a quiet or low sensory environment, arranging free transport to get to a clinic or a home vaccination.

‘DHBs and local providers are really committed to getting it right for disabled people to ensure they can access the vaccine in a way that meetings their needs in their local area,’ Minister Sepuloni said.

The announcements coincided with the launch of a refreshed disability-specific page on the Unite Against Covid website, which includes the list of the most accessible sites, video stories of people’s vaccination journeys, and guidance on how to support someone with a disability to get vaccinated.


As part of making vaccination centres accessible for all New Zealanders the Book My Vaccine | Ministry of Health NZ ( website is now highlighting all the types of accessible accommodations a centre offers – in a way that is clearly visible when someone is searching for a vaccination centre to meet their needs.

Before the update, while people wanting to book their vaccine could check a box indicating their preference for certain services, there was no certainty what clinics offered could actually be delivered


A new team has been established within the COVID vaccination healthline, in response to feedback from the disability sector on barriers to accessing vaccination information and booking support.

In its first two weeks, the 30-strong team has supported more than 440 disabled people.

“As part of our plan to give every eligible person the opportunity to get vaccinated by the end of the year, we are ensuring it is both easy and accessible for everyone, including disabled people,” COVID response minister Chris Hipkins said.

To access the team, people can call the free COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26, between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and ‘push 2’ to speak to the team.

The team is made up of dedicated advisors who are either living with disability themselves, have close whānau living with disability or, in a few cases, have extensive experience working with members of the disability community. Advisors work from home across Aotearoa, and recruitment is underway to further expand the workforce.

The team support disabled people and their carers to get information about the vaccine, make bookings (including support identifying suitable sites or liaising with sites to ensure that needs can be met), and supporting transport needs. Transport has been one of the things that has been identified as a barrier to vaccination for many disabled people.

In the first week examples of support being arranged included ensuring sites have mobility assistance in place, arranging NZ Sign Language interpreters, rearranging transport options after initial transport options became unavailable, 1737 counsellors being arranged to support people with anxiety, and other tailored solutions developed for people in conjunction with District Health Boards.

The team is able to support all those that identify as having a disability including: 

  • Deaf and hard of hearing

  • Blind and low vision

  • Physically disability

  • Intellectually disability

  • Neuro diverse

  • Long term health conditions.

  • The pathway is a collaboration between WorkBridge, Capital and Coast DHB, and Whakarongorau Aotearoa – New Zealand Telehealth Services.

All people who are employed or engaged as care and support workers are required to have had their first vaccination by 15 November 2021, and their second vaccination by 1 January 2022. This applies whether the care and support workers are employed or engaged by a provider, or by a disabled person through individualised funding arrangements.  

People who use individualised funding to purchase other types of support will not usually trigger the vaccination requirements. This is the case when care and support is provided through more informal arrangements or where services generally available in the community are purchased.   

I use my Carer Support funding to pay for a relief carer. Must the relief carer be vaccinated?  

A relief carer who is paid through Carer Support funding is required to be vaccinated if they are employed or engaged as a care and support worker. Where care and support is provided under an informal or casual arrangement (such as a neighbour babysitting a child, or a family member staying in the family house for a weekend to give the main carer a break), there is no requirement to be vaccinated.  

Must people who are paid as family carers be vaccinated?  

People who are employed or engaged to provide care and support to a family member will need to be vaccinated unless they live in the same home or place of residence as the family member.  

Where do I send questions to?

If you have any questions related to the order, you can send these to,
If you missed the highly informative sessions on the 29th August and September 8th you can watch the recording and access links to additional resources

For more information on the Covid Vaccination, 
click here
View August 29th Session here
View September 8th Session here
Additional Information Referred to
  • High vaccination rates mean New Zealand can take a new approach to managing COVID-19 with fewer restrictions and less reliance on lockdowns.
  • New Zealand will move to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework when 90% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated across each DHB.
  • Auckland will be able to transition when 90% of eligible Aucklanders in each of the city’s three DHBs have been fully vaccinated.
  • The new framework has three levels: Green, Orange and Red: 

    • Green is when there could be some COVID-19 in the community but at low levels. At Green, fully vaccinated people can enjoy all events, hospitality and gatherings by showing a vaccination certificate.

    • Orange is when there is increasing community transmission with increasing pressure on the health system. At Orange, everything remains open for people with vaccination certificates. 

    • Red is when the virus is spreading in a way that means there’s a need to take action to protect vulnerable people in a community and prevent pressure on the health system. At Red, there will be additional restrictions, but these will be greater for people without a vaccination certificate.

  • Vaccination certificates will provide greater freedoms at each level. There will be extra public health precautions built in at higher levels to minimise the impact of COVID-19 and spread.

  • Businesses that provide services only to vaccinated people can operate at every level of the new framework and without any restrictions at Green and Orange.

  • Cabinet will review vaccination progress on November 29.

  • More information on the new framework is available at

  • Find attached email for Information Pack materials.

More information
Read Covid-19 Protection Framework Powerpoint
New COVID-19 Protection Framework delivers greater freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders
Read FAQ's
  • A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, recommended for severely immunocompromised people is now available to be accessed.
  • The eligibility criteria is complex and applies to only a small group of people who are severely immunocompromised. 

  • People who meet the eligibility criteria will need to be prescribed the dose by their GP or other specialist.


Here are a number of videos where experts answer questions about the vaccine: 

  • Nigel Latta, Dr Maia Brewerton and Dr Helen Petousis-Harris recently answered vaccine questions in a Facebook live event with the support of a sign language interpreter (60:02).  

  • Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Dr Nikki Turner, Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Dr Vanisi Prescott recently answered vaccine questions in a Facebook live event. (56:43)

  • Mihingarangi Forbes sat down with Dr Hinemoa Elder to discuss some key concerns and hesitancies (59:00)  

  • On Te Ao with Moana COVID-19 Vax Q&A (25:11) Dr Anthony Jordan, Dr Papaarangi Reid, Dr Rawiri McKree-Jansen, Dr Maia Brewerton - specialists & activists in Māori public health, clinical immunology, allergies, immunopathology & medicine take phone calls from the Public about COVID and the vaccine.

  • Clinical psychologist Rachel Prebble talks about vaccine hesitancy (1:10) and has some ideas for starting a conversations (2:15) with friends and whanau.      

  • A fun and informative item on the Hahana Facebook page with answers to lots of vaccine questions: (11:43)

  • AUT’s Professor Steve Henry, a biological engineer currently working in the field of COVID-19 immunity, considers Should I get vaccinated? (39:03)

  • A rangatahi panel with Dr Jason Tuhoe, to kōrero about the vaccine from different perspectives (vaccinated, vaccine hesitant, wants to be vaccinated but whānau pressure not to): Waatea News on Te Puni Kokiri Facebook page (60:01)

  • Here’s a discussion between four health professionals where they share their thoughts, knowledge and experiences of the COVID vaccine in Straight Up with Dr. Lily Fraser - The Panel (3:53)

  • Learn about the COVID-19 pandemic, getting vaccinated, and what the future holds for Aotearoa New Zealand. Watch a series of seven NZ Vaccine Facts videos (with one more coming soon). 

Here are some recent articles about the vaccine: 


Face coverings are unsuitable for some people due to a disability or health condition. An exemption card has been developed that you can show when entering shops and other premises. 

Exemption cards can be requested from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or emailing them at

Preparing for your Covid 19 Vaccine
Free support for decision making for covid-19 vaccine
Here are the links to the easy read information about where to get food and other COVID-19 resources. Please share with your networks.
Easy Read Information
Getting Food At Covid Alert Levels 3 & 4
NZDSA COVID-19 Updates
Don't forget to check our website regularly to ensure you are up to date with the latest news on COVID-19, and how it affects you.

We will also be sending updates via email, so make sure to keep an eye out for COVID updates from us.

Click Here For The Latest From Our Website
We want to acknowledge celebrations, everyday achievements, exciting milestones and tributes for people with Down syndrome in New Zealand. Please send us a photo and details such as name and age (if appropriate).  We would always welcome you including a short story/paragraph. Please email We’d love to share these stories via our NZDSA e-news and on our Facebook page.


Would you like to become a NZDSA Member? Becoming a member entitles you to receive the quarterly NZDSA Journal, resources and self-advocates have the opportunity to attend camps. For more information or to become a member email Rose at or visit our website


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
Through the NZDSA e-news the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association (NZDSA) will attempt to report items of interest relating to Down syndrome. The NZDSA does not promote or recommend any therapy, treatment, agency, product, political position, religion or advice. The opinions expressed in items featured in our NZDSA e-news are not necessarily those of the NZDSA.

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New Zealand Down Syndrome Association (NZDSA) · P O Box 4142 · Auckland, AK 1140 · New Zealand