There's an issue brewing that is possibly bigger than border workers refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – and this one could be easily remedied.
It's an absolute debacle that port workers have to get unpaid time off to get a vaccination, or not get one at all.
They're forced to choose either money or the jab.
They can't turn down the work or they don't get paid.
Border workers at ports such as Tauranga have been eligible to get the jab since February.
One union boss says the issue of access is bigger than workers refusing to have the vaccine.
Maritime Union national secretary Craig Harrison says port workers should be given subsidised breaks to ensure they have every opportunity to get the jab.
"Why don't [the Government] run a campaign where they actually pay the stevedores to come in for four or five hours and get vaccinated, because that'd be great."
DHBs and other Government agencies need to work with these companies – set up vaccination stations on site.
Send in teams of trained vaccinators and get everyone while they're all in one place.
This is a no-brainer. The Government has said everyone in Aotearoa will be able to get a vaccine and it will be free.
But let's make it even more accessible – make it harder for people to say no or give excuses.
Having most of the population vaccinated against Covid-19 is key to opening borders, freeing up travel and kickstarting our economy.
For the Government to not make sure that border workers have every opportunity to protect themselves against Covid-19 is short-sighted.
Meanwhile, as of the beginning of the month, 97.5 per cent of MIQ workers have been vaccinated.
About 127 are outstanding, 13 of whom face being fired, and another 15 have been stood down.
Although this seems harsh - and it is of course up to every individual to decide whether or not to get vaccinated - frontline personnel cannot reasonably expect to keep those incredibly important but risky jobs without being protected.
Vaccines save lives, so let's make the rollout as simple as possible.