‘Fly-in, drive-through clinic’ lands at Mōtītī Island


‘Fly-in, drive-through clinic’ lands at Mōtītī Island

Mōtītī island from plane
Approaching Mōtītī Island on 6 September for the vaccination clinic

The remote Bay of Plenty community of Mōtītī Island hosted a fly-in vaccination clinic and the Bay of Plenty DHB shared these pictures

We know that Mōtītī residents want to feel safe when returning to the mainland

The first outsiders to touch-down for a fortnight in the Bay of Plenty’s Mōtītī Island was a fly-in COVID-19 vaccination team.

The secluded island nine kilometres off the coast of Tauranga, hosted a vaccination clinic on 6 September, according to a media release from the Bay of Plenty DHB.

The DHB collaborated with vaccination providers, including GP liaison lead Claire Isham of the DHB’s COVID-19 vaccine team, and the island’s residents to host the “fly-in, drive-through” clinic during lockdown.

The Mōtītī Island ‘fly-in, drive through’ COVID-19 vaccination team of GP Claire Isham and nurse Margaret Tunbridge-Ross
13 doses delivered

Bay of Plenty DHB COVID-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson says, in the release, the DHB’s team is working creatively to ensure it offers vaccination to all of the diverse populations of Te Moana ā Toi.

It administered 13 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the island clinic with many of the doses being the first dose that the Mōtītī residents had received.

Mōtītī island residents turned up at the island’s airstrip for the drive-through clinic
Hard-to-reach communities important

“It’s important we offer the vaccine to everyone in the Bay of Plenty, most especially our vulnerable, hard-to-reach communities with high Māori populations,” says Mr Richardson in the release.

The island closed itself to visitors when New Zealand entered COVID-19 Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021. The vaccine clinic was the first passenger flight to touch down on the island in two weeks.

A second clinic is planned on the island next month.

“We know that Mōtītī residents want to feel safe when returning to the mainland, so we’ll continue to make getting the vaccine as easy and accessible as possible,” says Mr Richardson in the release.

The drive-through clinic was the first contact with the rest of New Zealand in a fortnight