The Ministry of Health isn't revealing whether its 20 district health boards know the vaccination status of their staff in Covid-19 workstreams.
It comes after the NZ Herald exposed how the Auckland and Waikato DHBs not knowing which of their staff were vaccinated "presented a barrier to rapidly and safely deploying staff" in their response to New Zealand's current Delta outbreak.
Furthermore, the deadline for DHBs to know this information was August 31, a date agreed upon by all DHBs in a national guidance document.
A ministry spokesperson said all DHBs were working to obtain this information and an update was expected early in September, but would not confirm whether all had complied with the guidance.
In May, the Herald revealed 11 DHBs were not collecting data on whether their staff have received the Covid jab.
At the time, there was no protocol in place requiring DHB staff to be vaccinated before treating patients suspected or confirmed to have Covid-19.
In July, there were still nine DHBs not recording this data.
They were Northland, MidCentral, Whanganui, Tairāwhiti, Taranaki, Canterbury, South Canterbury, Southern and West Coast.
The remaining DHBs were at different stages of staff vaccination at that point, ranging between 69 per cent of staff fully vaccinated, up to 91 per cent.
It was then confirmed all DHBs needed to have access to staff vaccination data by August 31, as per national guidance published in June.
"DHBs are expected to know by 31 August 2021 the vaccination status of all workers identified as being in a Covid-19 workstream, and will be taking the necessary steps now to identify and record their Covid-19 workstreams, and identify the vaccination status of workers in those workstreams," it read."
However, the ministry will not confirm whether all DHBs have complied with this guidance, despite acknowledging it is crucial they do so.
"The Ministry of Health believes it is essential that DHBs understand their workforce's vaccination status so they can rapidly and safely deploy staff to where they are needed most for their public health response to the current Delta outbreak and to manage the risk of a wider community outbreak."
On Thursday, the Herald reported an email - written by a senior Ministry of Health official - which showed the country's response to the latest Delta outbreak was hampered by some DHBs not knowing which of their staff were vaccinated.
"While DHBs have been making good progress with the vaccination programme, many DHBs do not have reliable information on their workers' vaccination status readily available," the email read.
"This has presented a barrier to rapidly and safely deploying staff to where they are needed most in the current Covid-19 response. The three Auckland DHBs and Waikato DHB, in particular, have found this to be problematic since we went to level 4 on [August 17]."
The nine DHBs, which were not recording staff vaccination data in July, were asked whether they had access to this information now.
Spokespeople for Northland, MidCentral, Canterbury, South Canterbury and Southern directed inquiries to the ministry and/or TAS - a Wellington-based health sector advisory and programme management organisation, which often acted as a voice for DHBs.
Spokespeople for Whanganui and Taranaki also referred the Herald to the ministry/TAS, but both confirmed they were recording this data.
West Coast and Tairāwhiti did not respond before deadline.
Last week, the Herald also revealed Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins had asked health officials for advice on making the Pfizer vaccine mandatory for health workers in contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases, including in hospitals.
Such policy wasn't on the table before the highly infectious Delta strain forced a rethink of how to protect the country. It would be a "last resort", Hipkins said.
Groups including the Medical Council and College of GPs have already advised members they shouldn't be working with patients if unvaccinated.