Frontline emergency service workers were among the first to get their COVID-19 vaccinations as Auckland’s second large-scale community vaccination centre opened in Mt Wellington today.
The Mt Wellington site on Leonards Road, joins Highbrook Drive, East Tamaki as the second vaccination centre capable of vaccinating up to 1,000 people per day once operating at full capacity.
St John’s Ambulance staff and Police, many of whom are based in Mt Wellington, stepped up to have their vaccinations on opening day. Police staff are being vaccinated due to their role in protecting border and MIQ facilities while ambulance staff are part of the Government’s phase two scheduled roll out of frontline healthcare workers.
The Mt Wellington centre, like all our vaccination centres, will be increasing numbers in a staged ramp up, as the national schedule moves toward public vaccinations in July. In the meantime, the site, like all others in Auckland, will continue to vaccinate by appointment only.
“It has been a significant undertaking as we continue to open up our vaccination centres across Auckland and we’re incredibly grateful to all of those partner agencies who have supported the process to date, and worked very hard to achieve this,” said Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Programme Lead, Matt Hannant.
“It is important to note that our centres are still ramping up and we are planning to open more sites across Auckland over the coming weeks. This is the largest logistical operation ever undertaken by the health sector so we’re pleased to be making such good progress across the region,” he added.
St John COVID lead and intensive care paramedic Rebekah Judd said the vaccination process was very straightforward and encouraged everyone to take up the vaccine when it was offered.
“Our people are often the first to respond when people become ill from COVID-19 and we’re pleased to be able to support the Government’s vaccination rollout while also ensuring our people are safe.”
Te Runanga o Ngāti Whātua has a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding with the ADHB and the new Mt Wellington site has been set up with the support of a Ngāti Whātua collective comprising Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Te Runanga o Ngāti Whātua.
Ngāti Whātua have contributed to the design of the site ensuring tikanga Māori is upheld, they have appointed a Ngāti Whātua site lead and whānau members have been employed alongside the ADHB team.
Another vaccination centre also opened today in a building on the Waitakere Hospital site in Henderson. This is for primary care workers in the local area.
Last week the Auckland Metro DHBs opened another three local community vaccination centres across the city, the first of these was in the Atrium Shopping Centre in Elliot Street in the city centre. This centre will be able to vaccinate up to 500 per day once fully operational.
At dawn on Thursday morning, a karakia announced the arrival of vaccines to the first marae-based vaccination centre at Manurewa Marae. This centre is being run in partnership with the Whānau Ora Community Clinic and will vaccinate up to 300 people a day at its peak.
On Thursday afternoon, the first Pasifika-led vaccination centre was opened by the Hon. Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples. This centre, run by a collective of Pasifika healthcare providers, is based in Otara. The sits is doing well and has been vaccinating 300 people a day this week and is working with Pacific church groups to provide access for them this week.
Discussions are also underway with a number of GP clinics, initially in South Auckland, to help support the vaccination rollout within their communities and an outreach programme for Aged Residential Care facilities is also expected to begin at the end of next week in south Auckland.
With the opening of these sites in addition to five sites for DHBs staff and sites at the ports, airport and MIQ facilities, plus a number of vaccination sites in Northland, it brings the total number of vaccination centres in the Northern region to 22.