Gloriavale Christian community faces education conundrum over vaccine stance

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

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

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

They say that if the community does not vaccinate its teachers, it runs the risk of its kindergarten and school collapsing.

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

Gloriavale told its members that it was their choice to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

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

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

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

A series of meetings have taken place on site over the past few weeks, the message being that no one will be tried or sentenced for receiving the vaccine.

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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