All wharf workers in South jabbed

Port Otago workers beside the container ship Rio de Janeiro at Port Chalmers yesterday. All the...
Port Otago workers beside the container ship Rio de Janeiro at Port Chalmers yesterday. All the port’s frontline workers had been jabbed before the deadline on Wednesday night. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
The two southern ports achieved 100% vaccination of their frontline workers in time for Wednesday night’s deadline.

Port workers, who worked closely with international ships, had until 9pm to get their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Across the country, 144 port workers did not get vaccinated in time and would not be able to continue working in a border environment until they were.

Last month, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said misinformation was keeping 44% of port workers from getting a single dose. In a last-minute rush, 95% nationwide had the jab in time.

Both South Port and Port Otago confirmed all their frontline workers were vaccinated in time.

Port Otago chief executive Kevin Winders said its 114 workers in the frontline category were "very prompt" in getting vaccinated.

Mr Winders estimated more than 90% of the port’s 300 staff had received a jab.

The first staff were vaccinated in March and several vaccination pop-up events had since been held.

Mr Winders was "immensely proud" of staff for getting vaccinated.

Maritime Union national secretary Craig Harrison said educating port workers about the Covid-19 vaccine had helped many to overcome hesitancy.

"Emails have been sent and phone calls have been made trying to find out more about the vaccines and all the information.

"There’s a lot of information out there on the internet ... but our union’s been telling everyone the best person to talk to is your own doctor," he said. — Additional reporting RNZ


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