Alice Angeloni, Local Democracy Reporter
About 50 border workers in Gisborne still need to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
A new Government health order announced on Monday requires workers at ports and airports to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Government border workers have a deadline of August 26 to receive their first dose, while those who are privately employed have until September 30.
New border workers covered by the order, regardless of employer, will need to have a vaccination before starting work.
Hauora Tairāwhiti chief executive Jim Green said vaccine hesitancy was still a factor among Gisborne's port workers.
"Hauora Tairāwhiti will keep working with employers, workers, the ministry and the port company to roll out the vaccine to all workers who are now covered under the expanded border order," he said.
"There are an estimated 50 border workers still to be vaccinated and we will be focusing on making sure they can receive their vaccinations in line with the order."
As of Tuesday, 209 border workers and their household contacts in Tairāwhiti had been fully vaccinated.
It follows concerns raised in April about stevedores in Gisborne and around the country declining the vaccine.
In the week starting February 27, when Gisborne started its border worker vaccine roll-out, only four of 40 stevedores were vaccinated, the region's district health board was told at a meeting in April.
Stevedores are employed to load and unload ships.
ISO, the company that operates stevedoring in Gisborne and other ports around the country, declined to comment on changes to the health order.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins on Monday announced the vaccine would cover 1800 unvaccinated "active" border workers.
"This is necessary to lift the uptake of the vaccine among the wider border workforce and strengthen our ongoing response to Covid-19.
"Border workers who remain unvaccinated after the requirements come into effect will need to discuss options with their employer. They will not be able to continue working in a high-risk border environment until they are vaccinated," Hipkins said.
The vaccine is already mandatory for workers at Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities.
Covid-19 Vaccination Operations group manager Astrid Koornneef said the Ministry of Health continued to meet regularly with port companies, the maritime industry, sector agencies and DHBs throughout the vaccination programme.
"The issue of vaccine hesitancy among some groups is something that the ministry has been working through with DHBs and its sector agency partners, and continues to focus on supporting them with information, advice and resources to manage this."
Hauora Tairāwhiti would continue to work with stevedoring companies, the port and the border sector agencies to keep supporting the vaccine roll-out and ensure that all border workers were vaccinated in line with the order, Koornneef said.