Vaccination rollout a ‘shambles’

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said today that just over 90,000 Covid jabs have...
File photo: Getty images
A new booking system for Covid-19 vaccinations will be launched next week, as the Southern District Health board concedes the current procedure has caused problems and is confusing.

No national vaccination booking system existed, and southern health workers introducing the regional vaccination plan had been forced, in its early days, to use basic digital diaries, such as Outlook Calendar, to schedule appointments.

Border workers, frontline medical staff and their household contacts were the first people receiving the vaccine, which was given in two doses a fortnight apart.

Several contacted the Otago Daily Times to complain about the system.

Some complained about receiving multiple appointments while others said frontline staff in their medical centres had not been contacted at all.

"The Covid-19 vaccine rollout is a total shambles," one primary health worker said.

SDHB staff managing the vaccination programme acknowledged there had been problems.

Karl Metzler, of Gore Health Ltd, said its team was "driving a Model T Ford but aiming for a Tesla".

Despite the issues, vaccine rollout incident controller Hamish Brown said the SDHB should be confident the introduction plan was progressing well.

"There are numerous people who have been working long hours across the region to achieve this.

"We are ahead of progress.

"No doubt people have heard comment about our booking system and there is no doubt that remains a challenge as well."

The SDHB was aware of the constraints posed by its system and hoped a new method of booking appointments would be in operation next week.

Ministry of Health figures showed the SDHB had dispensed 1% more vaccinations than planned by this stage and ranked seventh out of 20 DHBs in terms of most first doses administered.

Finding vaccinators and other staff and then training them in time for the introduction of vaccines for the general public remained a major issue, although some new staff were set to begin next week, Mr Brown said.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said delays in creating a national booking system were due to the early part of the vaccination campaign targeting a small group of workforces and their associates.

"DHBs are using their existing systems, so whatever system they used to book people in for the flu jab or for the measles vaccine and so on, they’re using those existing systems.

"When we get to the point where we’re rolling it out to everyone ... that’s when we’re going to have a national booking system available."

The new national system was expected to be introduced in mid to late April, although Mr Hipkins said it was still being developed.

"Obviously each DHB is handling things differently, but we do ask them to try to keep wait times reasonable.

"We do ask them to make sure different time slots are available if people can’t make their time slots," Mr Hipkins said.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz — Additional reporting Daisy Hudson

Comments

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So... what this comes down to us that a Mr Metzler, an employee of a private Limited Liability Company, Gore Health Ltd, thinks the covid19 vaccination booking system is a shambles.
Mr Metzler, who may well be the company's groundsman for all we know, accepts no responsibility for his comany's antiquated booking systems but instead is relying on a taxpayer funded and developed system to bail them out. Typical!
The southern District Health Board is well known for, shall we say, "disorganization" and it is hardly surprising to find that apparently they don't have reliable existing systems in place for managing standard vaccinations for the likes of flu or measles etc. that could be used until the national Covid19 plan is rolled out. Most other Health Boards in the country seem to be coping.
It seems that the national covid19 vaccination plan is on target for later this month, calling it a shambles now is both premature and inaccurate.

And if you can inform us what that plan is , we would all be thankful, as the one the PM talks about, is useless

You really need to read the articles before you comment. The plan will not be rolled out until the end of April, as has always been the case. This is stated clearly in the article and repeated by me in my comment.

and you have insider knowledge? Thought not. Gore Health will have already experienced the start of the system with its health professionals being vaccinated - in Invercargill! That's a good start. They may also have experienced the appointment shambles already. Pigeon post would probably be an improvement. You may want to check out the way the MoH is funding the roll out (if they don't hide behind the official information act) to see who is getting what funding. Of course, if you object to general practices getting taxpayer funding you are going to have a problem getting GP services, or maybe you can afford a totally private service.

You're right, I don't have insider knowledge. But, I can read and unlike some can comprehend what I'm reading and tie relevant threads together.
Health providers involved in the Covid19 vaccinations to date are currently relying on their existing vaccination planning tools. The same one they have always used for the flu jab. If these planning tools are shambolic then that's down to them, not the MoH or the Govt. Most are coping with this arrangement. This is public knowledge for anyone who wants to look it up.
The new planning tool, currently under development and due for release at the end of April, may or may not end up being a shambles, no-one, including you will know until it is put into action. I'm sure like most of us you are hoping it goes off faultlessly. I doubt even a dyed in the wool national party provocateur like yourself would wish the consequences of failure on your fellow NZers.
As for the funding issues... how is that relevant to the above article? Stop throwing out red herrings.

It is even worse than I predicted. The MoH has had over a year to plan this roll out. After the shambles of the last flu vaccinations you would have thought they had learnt something; but apparently not. I can see what will happen now. The MoH will pass the buck to the DHBs. They won't want it so will take any money on offer and pass the work to the GPs but will pay them as little as they can get away with. There will be no national register of who has had what and when. The result will be the usual groups will get the vaccine and the usual ones will miss out, which will then be called out as a racist system.

It surprises me that you do not understand the meaning of the word "shambles".
Regretfully I missed your prediction but if it was based on last year's flu vaccinations experiences I expect it was wrong. Last year's flu vaccination was not shambolic. The minor delays for some occurred following hugely increased public demand for the flu jab after the initial Covid-19 lockdown commenced. The MoH responded to this extremely well despite Crusher trying to portray it as some sort of failure.
Your vision for the immediate future is blurred, perhaps from standing sideways and viewing the facts with only one eye.
Everyone involved states the plan is on target for implementation toward the end of the month. Based on how well the MoH has managed this pandemic to-date, under the Govt's forward-thinking, science-based, lives matter more, strategy. I believe most Kiiwis, are prepared to given them a few more weeks' grace before predicting doom and gloom.

Many will have forgotten our esteemed leadership telling us months ago that we were ready for this. The layers of lies, deceptions and lack of forward thinking are taking their toll on me at least.

I doubt many will have forgotten, because it was never said. What has been repeatedly stated throughout the crisis is that we are dealing with a pandemic, a grave situation that no-one living has ever faced before and one that previous governments, all of them, for the last 100 years have blithely ignored. We have been told that the rule book is being made up as we go along and we have to develop new strategies, systems, procedures and skill sets to do what is required. We were also told that the vaccination plan rollout would be geared up for the end of April, it's on target.
To claim that we were told months ago that we had already achieved this is untrue, it is fake news. At best it is an amusing but feeble attempt to try and win political points, at worst it is deliberate scaremongering.

Ird, once again you are all over this looking deeper with clarity into the non issue.
The people who are keen to invariably find fault will. Unfortunately they are never able to see just how lucky we all are!

Yes we have been lucky, I would prefer better organised. Vaccination roll out isn't rocket science. We have a flu vaccination every year. The MoH have had a year to prepare for this. Sadly the last flu vaccination was bedevilled with incompetence from the Government leaving GPs to pick up the pieces where they could. It isn't a case of looking for faults, they are too in your face to miss them.

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