A Hastings-based early childhood teacher who has been barred from the job for refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccination says she feels "completely depleted".
However, others in the region say they are relieved education centres and schools are now a step closer to protecting the students they teach against the virus.
Melody Ferguson was one of those who took to Hastings streets on Tuesday after the Government's wide-reaching education vaccine mandate came into effect.
Frontline teachers had to have had their first dose by November 15. The deadline for the second dose is January 1.
Ferguson said it was contradictory that she could drop her child off at a centre as a parent, but could not work as an unvaccinated staff member.
"I've now lost my job.
"I feel completely depleted."
She said it was "crazy" people would not be able to work.
"This country is going to fall apart."
While Ferguson had "no idea" what came next, she felt she was doing the right thing by protesting and hoped positive change would come from it.
She's one of several early childhood teachers who have now left the industry in the region.
Official figures on education sector staff losses had yet to be collated as at Tuesday afternoon.
National President of the New Zealand Principals' Federation and Hastings Intermediate principal Perry Rush told Hawke's Bay Today on Monday he was still unclear what the impact would be on Hawke's Bay schools.
Rush said most small schools had one to two ancillary or teaching staff who were unwilling to be vaccinated and larger schools might have a few more but added schools had been planning for such an eventuality.
Hastings Youth Council chair Keelan Hesterman, speaking in his capacity as a Karamu High School student, said the health of those being educated had to be "paramount".
"We know vaccines work at slowing or stopping the spread of Covid-19, and we also know schools can be breeding grounds for Covid-19.
"If an unvaccinated teacher brought Covid-19 to school, especially with lots of under-12s who can't be vaccinated at this stage, then it could easily spiral out of control; not to mention that the teacher is at risk of not being able to work for an extended period of time if they got sick with Covid-19."
While he hadn't personally been affected by any of his teachers leaving, he knew some schools would be losing staff.
"I'm sure there have been some tough conversations over the last few weeks about this, but showing kindness and compassion in dealing with this is so important, particularly when encouraging the vaccine-hesitant to get the jab.
"Young people just want to feel safe at school, and knowing their teachers are vaccinated against Covid-19 plays a big part of that."
He said lockdowns had "significant impacts" on young people, and getting vaccinated is a step closer to lockdowns being unnecessary.
"I think that on balance teachers want what's best for their students and their safety, and that means getting vaccinated."
The Ministry of Health confirmed people can still get COVID-19 if they're vaccinated, but the symptoms are likely to be very mild, or you may not have any symptoms at all.
"This means that if you are vaccinated and get COVID-19, you may not realise and spread it to others."