A public health expert is flabbergasted the government cannot provide specific vaccination information for a new Auckland border facility.
It comes as questions remain over how many workers at Tamaki Marine Park – some of whom are now considered border staff – have been vaccinated.
The marina, surrounded by a busy commercial area, is being used as a transfer zone for shipping crew stepping off international flights or out of MIQ.
On Friday there were two crew transfers. One was ferried offshore from MIQ after a negative Covid-19 test, and another back to shore to isolate.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) told Checkpoint it is business as usual.
But it is also business as usual for border workers to get a vaccine as a priority.
For nearly a week, Checkpoint has been asking for vaccination data specifically on how many workers at the site have been vaccinated.
But a Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesperson said the ministry cannot give data for specific workplaces.
“As this information is not required to be collated, we cannot determine the vaccination rate for border workers for a given location, such as a specific port.
“However, as indicated, we can provide data for border workers by DHB of residence, noting that it’s likely that some workers will be employed at a port within the same DHB area in which they live.”
Otago University Professor Nick Wilson told Checkpoint the MoH’s response was simply not good enough.
“We need to do everything at the border at an extremely high level of quality and it needs to be very transparent what the situation is,” he said.
“So all that information should in fact be on a Ministry of Health website.”
Government data on things like vaccination rates at border workplaces was simply not up to scratch, he added.
“We need to know at each border point, whether it’s a port or an airport, what the coverage level of the workers is, in terms of vaccination,” Professor Wilson said.
“And what steps are being taken to remedy the problems, which is, inadequate vaccination coverage?
“This is quite a serious problem.”
Keeping vaccination data for each border workplace is not exactly rocket science, according to Wilson.
“It should be an absolute priority to have this information, so I just can’t understand why this problem is not being sorted.”
While the Ministry of Health said it cannot give specific data, it is understood at least some workers at Tamaki Marine Park were taken for their first vaccination after Checkpoint started making enquires last week.
However, according to officials, marine crew changes have been operating at Tamaki Marine Park since July 12.