More than 20 per cent of Northland's population have been tested since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March last year.
And almost a year later the fight against the virus is well under way in the region as the first rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine focused on protecting Northland borders nears completion.
Dr Bart Willems, Ngā Tai Ora - Public Health Northland public health medicine specialist, said 40,279 Covid-19 tests have been completed in Northland since testing first began in March 2020.
Around 8160 of those tests were performed after January 24 this year. The date the region was flung into high alert as the news broke that the country's first reported community case since November had landed in our backyard.
A 56-year-old woman, who lived south of Whangārei, tested positive for the virus after leaving managed isolation.
She had visited 30 southern Northland locations, including cafes, restaurants, retail outlets, tourist attractions and holiday hotspot Mangawhai.
But with no further community cases reported in the region since then, the Northland District Health Board has been full steam ahead with the Covid-19 immunisation programme.
Willems said a mix of around 300 border workers - mostly from Northport and Ōpua Wharf - and authorised vaccinators had received their jabs as of 8am on March 15.
They were now receiving their second and final dose after a three-week stand down between shots.
A national total of 12,709 of the 15,200-strong workforce in MIQ facilities and at the border have so far received the vaccine with 21 frontline workers outside of Northland having declined the Covid-19 jab.
Willems reported the NDHB, Public Health Northland, and the Ministry of Health had so far fulfilled a national aim to avoid wasting any doses of the vaccine.
"A vaccine would be wasted if it couldn't be used within the timeframe required," he said.
"We have not had any wastage thus far and are committed to not having any vaccine wasted."
Currently the vaccine is defrosted in Auckland then transported to Northland via a cold chain network which is a temperature-controlled supply chain.
Nine large freezers that can be dialled down to -80C are the central storage facility for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that requires ultra-low temperatures.
Vial vaccines have five days, from defrost day, in a fridge before they expire, Willems said.
Once a vial is reconstituted the five to six doses within it have a six-hour life under refrigeration or a two-hour life at room temperature.
A Ministry of Health spokesman said the special properties of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine presented challenges different from usual vaccines.
To avoid wastage the NDHB has a standby list of people who could be individually invited to fill any remaining vaccination appointments at short notice.
Northland District Health Board communications manager Liz Inch said the list currently contained border workers and household contacts but they had started a standby list of frontline healthcare workers who could be exposed to Covid-19 while providing care.
"As the number of vaccinations per day increases the standby lists will increase in size," Inch said.
Vaccinations for Northland frontline healthcare workers are expected to start at the end of March.