Government approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine could help schools retain teaching staff, Rotorua Principals Association president Gary Veysi says.
The Government has approved the vaccine for those who can't take the Pfizer vaccine for medical reasons, or who won't take the Pfizer vaccine but have to be vaccinated for their jobs.
One hundred thousand doses have arrived in New Zealand and will be available to those who meet the criteria from today.
"For some people, they would probably prefer AstraZeneca," Veysi said.
"They've struggled with making that decision, and it's taken them a little bit longer to get to this point.
"If they're willing to take the AstraZeneca I believe that should be available."
He said the prospect of losing staff was devastating and the most complex situation he has faced in 20 years of being a school principal.
"Hopefully they're going to make that right choice so they can come back and join us.
"The window of opportunity is still open, the door is open for them to come back, it's just knowing if they can take this vaccine," he said.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins earlier said 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be available for people aged over 18 who cannot, or would not, receive the Pfizer vaccine.
"This includes those affected by the Vaccination Order, like health workers or teachers."
He said the Ministry of Education provided extensive advice to schools and kura to help manage implications for staff affected by the vaccination mandate.