Health ministry won't endorse $20 staff vaccine sticker, says it's 'disappointing' businesses 'taking advantage' of pandemic

The Ministry of Health says it won't endorse a graphic design company's $20 stickers indicating their staff had been vaccinated, saying it's "disappointing" businesses are "taking advantage of the current situation".

Web and graphic design company Studio Frank has been selling stickers labelled 'All our staff are fully vaccinated' to businesses for $20 or on digital download for $10.

The Ministry of Health group manager of national digital services Michael Dreyer said while it's positive that businesses want to promote that their staff are fully vaccinated, people should know there is only one official way to confirm vaccination status.

Health ministry won't endorse $20 staff vaccine sticker, says it's 'disappointing' businesses 'taking advantage' of pandemic
Photo credit: The Project

"There is only one official COVID-19 record – the Ministry of Health's My COVID Record, which provides a record of people's vaccination status – and people should follow that process. The Ministry of Health does not endorse any product or certificate outside those available through the official Ministry channels," he said.

"While it is important that as many New Zealanders get vaccinated as possible, it would be disappointing if businesses were to take advantage of the current situation. We understand that some businesses might want to support the vaccination effort, but we'd encourage them in other ways, such as providing flexibility to allow staff to get vaccinated."

But Chris and Charlotte Mundell, the owners of Studio Frank, said the product was intended to "help businesses who wish to show clients that their staff are fully vaccinated".

"We have simply created the artwork for businesses who wish to make this statement. We are not claiming to be an official sticker or to be a certified verification," they told Newshub."

"We see it very much in the same vein as other optional signage such as 'Sustainable Products Used Here' or 'We Compost' etc. Businesses can decide for themselves and with their staff if they wish to display such a sign and as customers we trust in their application of it."

The Mundells said they support the Ministry's position on encouraging businesses to allow staff flexibility to get vaccinated. 

"We have had a number of businesses reach out saying that they see the sticker as a way to reinforce the unity and culture within their own work environments, as much as to show their customers. A 'we are a team' mentality."