Gloriavale’s Christian community faces an educational conundrum over its anti-vaccine stance

Gloriavale will likely be forced to turn his back on his long-held anti-vaccine beliefs. Photo/George Heard

The Gloriavale Christian community will likely be forced to turn its back on its long-held anti-vaccine beliefs.

A source close to the community said it was understood they were considering asking the government for an exemption from the vaccination mandate for its teachers.

They say that if the community fails to vaccinate its teaching staff, it runs the risk of seeing its kindergartens and schools collapse.

The source says the community would be reluctant to revamp their workplace structure – and are unlikely to want to lose government funding.

Gloriavale told its members it was their choice to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Lake Brunner, the area in which Gloriavale falls, currently has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the South Island.  Photo/NZH
Lake Brunner, the area in which Gloriavale falls, currently has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the South Island. Photo/NZH

Lake Brunner, the area in which Gloriavale falls, currently has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the South Island.

As of Wednesday, 55.1% of Lake Brunner residents had received a dose and 45.3% were fully vaccinated.

A series of meetings have been held there over the past few weeks, with the message that no one will be tried or convicted for getting vaccinated.

The source said it was difficult for leaders to navigate because there are very strong opinions about vaccines that have been in the community for 50 years.

Gloriavale has been approached for comment.

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