Why has Otago Museum decided to require proof of vaccination for entry?
The Museum’s purpose is to safeguard taoka. This includes physical taoka in our collection and our people, both our staff our community.
It is clear that vaccination offers the best protection against Covid-19. It is our legal responsibility, under the Health and Safety at Work act, to provide an environment in which our visitors and staff feel safe and comfortable, particularly as restrictions are lifted and there is an increased risk of the virus circulating in our community.
What if my personal choice is not to be vaccinated?
We know that some people do not wish to be vaccinated. This is your choice. However, if you are not fully vaccinated or have a verified medical exemption, you will be unable to enter Otago Museum. This includes our Café, Shop and galleries, events and educational/research areas. We are responsible for providing a safe environment for our visitors and staff, and we are following the science and our legal responsibility, to offer as much protection against Covid-19 as we are able to.
Doesn’t this policy discriminate against people who are unable or unwilling to get vaccinated?
We acknowledge that these are difficult issues. However, our legal and ethical duty during the Covid-19 pandemic is to protect the health, safety and well-being of our community, including our most vulnerable members.
While this policy may limit some rights, it reaffirms what we consider to be the Museum’s primary responsibility, which is to keep our visitors and staff safe.
Restricting access to our facilities is not a decision that the Museum made easily, but we feel it is a necessary, temporary measure.
We provide a range of activities, information and video content on our website @hOMe for those who cannot physically visit the Museum.
Who does not need a My Vaccine Pass?
Children under the age of 12 years and 3 months are not required to show proof of vaccination.
Who can get a My Vaccine Pass
You can request a My Vaccine Pass if you are aged 12 and over and:
- have had 2 doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand, or
- been vaccinated overseas with an approved vaccine, or
- have a medical exemption.
Your My Vaccine Pass will include your name, date of birth and a QR code. You can save it on a digital device, like your phone, or print a physical copy.
Your pass will have an expiry date 6 months after the date of issue.
What if I don’t have a smartphone, a computer or access to the internet to obtain My Vaccine Pass?
For people without a smartphone or access to a computer, there is a helpline you can call – 0800 222 478 to request a My Vaccine Pass.
Many pharmacies are providing free in-person assistance on how to obtain and print a My Vaccine Pass for free.
You need to have your National Health Index (NHI) number ready. If you don’t know your NHI number you may be asked a few questions to confirm your identity, such as name and date of birth. Someone can call on someone else’s behalf but they must have their permission. The Museum offers FREE Wifi so you are welcome to use this to sign up.
What happens if you were vaccinated overseas?
According to the Government’s Covid-19 website, a process is being established to record Covid vaccinations administered overseas in the New Zealand Covid Immunisation Register. It can record all 23 vaccines that are approved as per the New Zealand entry requirements.
You must apply for this information to be included in your records. This will take up to 14 days and applicants will need to provide proof of the vaccines and dates administered so they can be entered into the Covid-19 Immunisation Register.
At this stage, from the week of November 26, there are eight approved vaccines that can be used as proof of vaccine status when applying for My Vaccine Pass. These vaccines are: Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen (Johnson and Johnson), AstraZeneca (Oxford), AstraZeneca/Covishield (Serum Institute of India), Moderna, Sinopharm, Sinovac (CoronaVac) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech).
We note our views and policy on the Vaccine Passports align with the Dunedin City Council and all major museums in New Zealand.
Please remember our staff are amazing and are just doing their job when asking visitors to comply with our policy.
We will not tolerate anything that jeopardizes our staff or other visitor’s safety.
In this difficult time, we are following the science and doing our best to stay safe.