Government plans to require all teachers and support staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Newshub can reveal the Government is planning to require every single teacher at every level, and all support staff who work with children, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft wants the mandate to go further, and is calling for double vaccination for anyone who works with children.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was out in Murupara on Thursday convincing the unvaccinated one jab - and one sausage - at a time, to put on their Pfizer armour.

"For a lot, it was that they had other family members who had been vaccinated and that was the thing that brought them out," Ardern told Newshub. 

Every adult who rolls up their sleeves protects the tamariki who can't.

"You will be increasing the layer of protection around them if you and all of the adults who are coming into contact with them are vaccinated," said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. 

And the COVID-19 Response Minister who doubles as the Education Minister means all the adults. 

Newshub can reveal the mandate Hipkins is taking to Cabinet on Monday is a mighty big stick - every educator who works with a child will have to be vaccinated.

"This is what responsible adults who are involved with children do. They get jab jabbed as soon as possible," says Becroft. 

It creates a protective barrier around them.

"Please show your love for your kids by getting the vaccinations yourself," said Hipkins. 

And that protective barrier could be huge. At last count there were 30,500 early learning teachers and 71,700 primary and secondary teachers, meaning at least 102,000 teachers could be covered by the mandate - plus support staff.

"When it comes to public health issues, we need the Government mandate on this," says Sue Kurtovich, a specialist in early childhood centre management and administration.

"It's not up to individual services to be negotiating this with their individual teachers."

The Children's Commissioner wants the mandate to cover the entire frontline children's workforce, including healthcare workers and social workers. 

"Any adult who could pass it on to a child - any adult - has got to get vaccinated."

But an early childhood public health researcher warns a must-vaxx mandate could crash the teacher-starved sector.

"If you force vaccinations on early childhood teachers, you're just going to tip the sector over the edge," says Mike Bedford. 

We know the minister wants every teacher mandated but it's not yet been determined what will happen if teachers refuse.

We've seen the struggle with border workers, so could this be the education edition of that 'no jab, no job' clash?