Chch cases spur rise in vaccinations

Dunedin has experienced a spike in the number of people getting their first Covid-19 vaccination following the news of positive cases in Christchurch.

Two cases of Covid-19 in Christchurch were announced on Thursday morning, and a further two Christchurch cases announced yesterday.

Pharmacists in Dunedin also attributed an increase in people seeking vaccinations this week to news of vaccine mandates.

Roslyn Pharmacy pharmacist Andrew Hou said there was a rise in walk-in patients on Thursday, when the first Christchurch cases were announced.

About 50% of people vaccinated that day were receiving their first dose.

Earlier this week, the Government announced workers at businesses must be vaccinated if the business required customers to prove they were vaccinated.

Antidote Macandrew pharmacist Joe Joy said those mandates, combined with the Christchurch cases, had increased his amount of walk-ins and first dosers significantly.

A lot of people getting the jab were anxious about losing their jobs and about the cases in Christchurch, he said.

Te Kaika principal iwi adviser Matt Matahaere said the uptake of vaccines had increased at the Victoria Rd drive-in vaccination site since the announcement of the traffic light system.

Southern District Health Board Covid-19 vaccination programme lead Hamish Brown said there was a small rise in vaccinations on Thursday — 3216 were given on Wednesday, compared to 3751 on Thursday.

Macraes operation general manager Mike Fischer confirmed a contractor with links to a Covid-19 case in Christchurch, who visited Macraes Mine in East Otago, returned a negative test.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman confirmed there were no close contacts of the four Christchurch cases in the Southern District Health Board area as of yesterday.