COVID-19 My Vaccine Pass system excludes many NZers

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Media release from UCAN – United Community Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand

Thursday 30 December 2021

Many people on limited incomes are excluded from the freedoms offered by the COVID-19 Vaccine Pass, says health rights lobby group UCAN – United Community Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand.

A major problem lies with the technology required to get a pass, says spokesperson Debbie Leyland.

UCAN is concerned about people living on income assistance, many of whom are older or have disabilities or mental health issues and would struggle with the COVID-19 website. Some of these people cannot afford to have much data on their phones, and others do not have a smartphone.

The printed pass and help from a pharmacy are among the solutions the Government offers for people who lack internet or can’t work out the vaccine pass system, but only pharmacies providing vaccinations can help people with the passes.

Ms Leyland says even these pharmacies can’t help if the person is homeless and doesn’t have an address.

People without money for transport are also disadvantaged in trying to get a vaccine pass.

UCAN calls on the Government to work with community organisations to open up more avenues of help for vaccinated people to get their vaccine passes. Without this, some people will continue to be marginalized, says Debbie Leyland.

UCAN spokesperson Debbie Leyland can be contacted for interview on 022 195 3178

About UCAN

The United Community Action Network (UCAN) is a collective of individuals and organisations working to implement the UCAN Health Charter.

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