New Zealand is planning to change the requirement for people applying for a visa to immunize themselves against a cluster of highly contagious vaccine-preventable diseases, The Guardian reports.
Currently, those looking to visit the country must show that they are immunized against 19 vaccines. The restrictions, introduced in the 1970s, meant that most New Zealanders lived without childhood vaccines due to their reluctance to apply for foreign visas and reside in the country on a temporary basis, according to the Guardian.
Today, many New Zealanders are no longer afraid of travel because the country’s popular health system provides comprehensive immunization services throughout all of their travels. Many hospitals have patients who travel abroad many times, allowing their applications to be reviewed before they can enter the country for a vacation.
“Visa applicants have been eligible to apply for immunization or evidence of immunization for many decades,” Dr. Kristian Muller, a New Zealand public health analyst, told The Guardian. “It’s time to catch up with the rest of the world.”
Starting in 2022, applicants to the country will be able to prove their immunization through one medical form, which will also include additional forms pertaining to personal health. The new form will contain a list of recommended vaccines for a selection of different risks. The list includes gonorrhea, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and human papillomavirus (HPV). “The changes will enhance the immunization system for New Zealand and give clarity for visitors and investors,” Muller added.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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