Furniture Movers and vaccination

Published by mrmovergrover on

Due to a number of questions fielded by our enquiries team we have decided to write a short Q & A about furniture moving and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (the only current medsafe approved vaccination being used in NZ).

Covid-19 is a novel (new) virus from the corona family of viruses that can lead to a condition known as SARsCov-2, (sudden acute respiratory syndrome covid 2) in some people. SarsCov-2 is a pneumonia like illness than can lead to death in at risk people.

The vast majority of healthy people will have little to no symptoms or effects from contracting the virus and many people will not even realize they have been exposed to it although just like influenza, symptoms can become serious in anyone for a variety of reasons some of which still remain unknown.

Are you an at risk person?

Find out here: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-advice-higher-risk-people

Q : Are furniture movers required to be vaccinated?

A : Yes and No

Why not?

Well the answer is that furniture moving is deemed to be a low risk activity, it can be done safely where customer/mover interaction can be minimized so that the risk is lower than going to the super market or the petrol station for a cappuccino.

Why?

In certain instances such as rest homes and high risk areas vaccination is mandated by legislation from the current labor govt.


Q : Will vaccinated movers decrease the risk of transmission to at risk people?

A : Yes and No

Why?

Studies indicate that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine effect does temporarily reduce the transmission vector of Delta from the vaccinated to others. The vaccine was initially created for the Alpha variant but still has some residual benefit against Delta.

(source: Yale )

Why not?

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination has a waning efficacy of around 10% per month and shouldn’t be relied upon as the sole prophylactic against infection.

Vaccinated people can still contract Delta and become infectious, the instances of this increases over time and studies indicate that the protection period is very short lived, this renders the vaccination not practically useful as a reliable stand alone ongoing risk mitigation tool against infection as the science currently stands. Booster doses are being administered in populations overseas and the outcome of studies on these populations will reveal further data as to the ongoing efficacy of the medicine, but until then we must remain cautious and vigilant in our approach to at risk people.

(source: Yale ) (source: Reuters )



Q : Can I request vaccinated workers

A : Yes and No

Why?

If your work place or residence is mandated by law to require vaccinated workers then yes you can insist on it.

Why not?

Currently employers that do not preform mandated or high risk business tasks cannot insist that their employees be vaccinated and cannot under current employment law require or disclose this information to other employees or members of the public. This is considered a breach of trust and could land employers in the employment tribunal.

(source: employment.govt)

What about moving companies that advertise vaccinated workers?

If the company is carrying out mandated activities such as elderly care moves then they will have required positions where vaccination status is mandated under Labor govt legislation.

For ordinary every day moves employers and companies cannot require staff to undergo or disclose vaccination status solely for competitive gain, such a move could end an employer up in the tribunal accused of duress, discrimination or breach of confidentiality.

Advice

When choosing your furniture movers do not rely solely on vaccination if you are concerned about vectors of transmission and contracting Covid-19.

If you or someone in your household is in the high risk category then it is far more important to rely on basic risk mitigation practices than solely on vaccination, overseas data demonstrates quite clearly that when populations come out of lock downs and rely on vaccination as prophylaxis, the delta variant causes a spike in transmissions, there is no reason to believe that this will not happen in New Zealand and as of the time of writing this (November 4 2021) the numbers are playing out as seen in other countries.

Auckland Moving Guys recommends the following precautions for at risk people:

  • Inform your moving company that there is an at risk person in your household
  • Ask to see the company’s level protocols
  • Put a plan in place to mitigate the risk of transmission

Some possibilities for a mitigated risk moving plan:

  • If you believe in using the vaccine then see your doctor and get vaccinated if they advise it’s safe to do so with your condition (remember that the current studies indicate the treatment temporarily reduces the risk of contracting the virus).
  • Ensure that you pack all your items into boxes and plastic bags.
  • try to have someone else in your bubble help you to do the packing and unpacking
  • Do not be in the house or around the movers when they are carrying out the move.
  • Wipe down surfaces of furniture after the move with a 75% alcohol or 10% bleach solution after the move (ideally have a friend or family member in your bubble who is not at risk help do this).
  • Use masks and gloves while unpacking your items and dispose of the boxes and bags straight away (ideally have a friend or family member in your bubble who is not at risk help do this)

Conclusion

To conclude, at this stage in the situation most movers will have been vaccinated, it is however currently not lawful for an employer to disclose the vaccination status of an employee to the public for work other than related to mandated activities in the work place.

It is also unlawful for an employer to advertise vaccination status of their employees for financial gain or market advantage outside of mandated activities.

Until such a time as vaccination certificates are mandated in the transport or moving sector it is not lawful to insist that a moving company favor or discriminate against any of their employees based on confidential employer/employee information. I.E. if you are not involved in mandated activities then it is not currently lawful to insist that a company send you only vaccinated workers, for the above reasons.

The balance of probability is that most people will be vaccinated and the risk posed by movers is less than that of going to the supermarket as risk mitigation and controls are far easier to manage within the moving industry.


Good luck with your next move and we hope to see you soon!




Kind Regards
Admin

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