An Auckland mum-of-two is "completely anxious" at the prospect of sending her children back to school without the assurance school staff are vaccinated for Covid-19.
Last week the Ministry of Education confirmed there are no requirements for teachers to be vaccinated at schools and early childhood centres.
Parents were also discouraged from seeking the vaccination status of teachers and other school staff.
An Auckland parent contacted the Herald with the concern she could not keep her children safe without knowing the vaccination status of their school.
"I just want my children and myself to have the best chance of keeping safe," said the woman, who has asked to remain anonymous.
"If we can't have all that information, you just kind of feel a bit lost because you've got no choice in this matter.
"An anxious person then has all the information to go 'OK, I think I'm going to look for an alternative for my child', you get to have the choice - whereas here we just have no choice.
"Education is a legal requirement, I have to either send my children to school or homeschool them."
Just over 40 per cent of New Zealand's eligible population have now received both jabs, but children under 12 are currently the only group of New Zealanders who are not eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19
Meanwhile, nearly 200 children in the current Delta outbreak are under the age of 10.
This week, vaccination was made mandatory for all school staff in the Australian state of Victoria.
The Auckland mum said the lack of a vaccine mandate at New Zealand schools felt at odds with the Government's campaign for 90 per cent coverage.
"Jacinda was recently saying they're pushing this vaccination agenda, which I'm all for – do it for the kids. Keep the kids safe.
"But I'm not allowed to ask if my child's teacher is vaccinated?"
New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) has previously said they support the vaccine rollout, but that it was inappropriate for parents to be inquiring about teachers' vaccination status.
Research fellow at Otago University (Wellington) Dr Julie Bennett has been studying indoor air quality in schools for a number of years and had concerns about children returning to poorly ventilated classrooms.
"The less ventilation and less airflow you have, the more likely it is that, if there is a positive Covid case in the classroom ... the risk is higher of people being able to transmit it."
Where ventilation was poor, it was more important other layers of defence were used against Covid – such as masks, cohorting of students and vaccination.
"It becomes more important once again in that primary school age group - because the children can't be vaccinated it's more important that the adults are vaccinated.
"Hopefully in a secondary school, or even intermediate, where they're able to get the vaccine themselves, it provides that extra layer of defence.
"But all those layers of defence need to go with those other things, the cohorting, the masks, the ventilation."
For students under 12 that could not be vaccinated, the airflow became even more important.
"It would be great if the schools are considering ways to improve ventilation, such as opening windows ... potentially doing a 15-minute purge every hour, so opening the windows and then shutting them again.
"And with the younger children, they can be thinking through doing activities outside when it's possible."
Head of Education Infrastructure Service Kim Shannon said most school buildings were able to meet ventilation requirements.
"As New Zealand has a moderate climate, most of our school buildings are only one or two storeys, and teaching spaces have one or more external walls," he said.
Most schools were therefore able to meet ventilation requirements in the Building Code through passive means, such as through windows, doors and vents that open and close.
"Some schools have mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems, which are assessed annually as part of their Building Warrant of Fitness."
He said the Ministry of Education was regularly providing advice to schools around ventilating their teaching spaces.
A statement from Education Minister Chris Hipkins encouraged all New Zealanders over the age of 12 to get vaccinated and said DHBs, primary care and Māori and Pasifika health providers were making it as easy as possible to do so.
"For 12- to 15-year-olds, it is recommended they discuss the vaccination with their whānau or a trusted support person," he said.
"A health professional will also discuss the vaccination with the young person prior to giving the vaccine and can answer any questions they may have. Young people can consent but they can also go along to a vaccination appointment with their parents or caregiver.
"Schools promote Ministry of Health advice and behaviours and this includes to get vaccinated. For those unable to get vaccinated schools have a range of measures in place to keep them safe at various alert levels."