“Get in, get it done.”
That was the message from Dr Jon Scott on Tuesday, when Central Medical opened its new Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the Tongan Methodist Church in Eden St.
For the past month, Central Medical has been administering about 84 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine a week. But with the new clinic now open, and more vaccines available, Dr Scott said 426 doses would be administered this week, and about 500 next week. The clinic would be open until the end of October.
The Delta Covid-19 variant was “incredibly infectious” and people needed to be ready for it, Dr Scott said.
“The virus doesn’t care who you are . . . you’re just a host,” he said.
“Our window of opportunity to get as many people [as possible] vaccinated is now.
“If you have the opportunity and don’t take it, and then you suffer from Covid-19, you will only have yourself to blame.”
Running a vaccine clinic was a “very labour intensive” exercise, Dr Scott said. It added an extra 24 hours of work a week for Central Medical staff, on top of their normal workload.
“But this is the way the Government has set it out and we just have to get on and do it.”
Central Medical is one of several Waitaki practices ramping up its vaccine delivery from this week.
Southern DHB Covid-19 vaccine rollout incident controller Hamish Brown said clinics were also operating at Kurow Medical Centre, North End Health Centre, Oamaru Doctors, South Hill Medical and Whitestone Family Practice.
East Otago Health, Unichem North End Pharmacy, North Otago Dispensary and Oamaru Pharmacy will begin offering the vaccine from early-mid August, Mr Brown said.
More than 3614 doses had already been delivered in Waitaki, but some residents had received their vaccine outside the district, Mr Brown said. About 17% of Waitaki residents had received their first dose, and 11% were fully vaccinated.
By now, everyone in Group 3 of the Ministry of Health’s sequencing framework should have received an invitation via letter, email or text to book their appointment, he said.
“We have used a combination of hospital data and GP enrolment data to identify those eligible to receive a vaccination.
“Anyone who has not been captured for whatever reason, for example, out-of-date contact details, should call 0800 28 29 26.”
The Southern DHB expected to deliver about 17,000 doses across the Southern district this week. At present, there are more than 30 clinics offering the vaccine across the Southern region.
“We anticipate having over 120 at the peak of the rollout to make sure we are reaching everyone in our widespread district,” Mr Brown said.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health started its national roll-out to Group 4. Invitations would be staggered by age group and those aged 60 and over could expect an invitation in the coming weeks, Mr Brown said.
A list of current and upcoming clinics is available online at southernhealth.nz/COVID19/book.