Driving through, it’s just the shot!

Oamaru families came out in droves to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 yesterday.

The first Oamaru drive-through Te Kaika vaccination clinic, in partnership with Whitestone Family Practice and the Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group, attracted more than 300 people at Centennial Park.

Most people coming through the clinic, supported by the Southern District Health Board, WellSouth, Tu Mai Ora and the Waitaki District Council, were families getting their children vaccinated. As well as vaccination shots, children received ice blocks and superhero certificates.

Among the families were Greg and Kerrie Illingworth getting their boosters. Their children, Cruz (10), Indiana (8), and Arnika (7), were vaccinated too.

Mr Illingworth said the drive-through clinic was a great idea and it was important their children were vaccinated before school started.

Mandy Wilson echoed Mr Illingworth’s feelings, bringing her son, McKenna (9), to get vaccinated before he entered the classroom.

Oamaru children Cruz Illingworth and his sisters Indiana and Arnika were all smiles after...
Oamaru children Cruz Illingworth and his sisters Indiana and Arnika were all smiles after receiving their vaccinations at a drive-through clinic in the town yesterday. PHOTOS: GERARD O’BRIEN
McKenna, who enjoyed an ice block after getting the jab, said it was an easy and important experience.

"It’s to keep other people safe," McKenna said.

Mrs Wilson had been trying to book McKenna’s vaccination through her doctor but the earliest appointment was mid-February, making the drive-through clinic a fantastic opportunity.

"I think it’s amazing what they’re doing. It’s so much easier to come up here — amazing," Mrs Wilson said.

Te Kaika chief executive Albie Laurence said the team was proud getting the clinic off the ground and vaccinating many in the community.

"It was an awesome day with a great turnout in the morning and a steady flow in the afternoon. We hope to bring more vaccination services to the wider Oamaru public in the near future," Mr Laurence said.

He was grateful to the group for pulling things together in a short timeframe, as was community group general manager Hana Halalele.

"I think everyone’s enjoying it, there’s value in bringing everyone together like this," Mrs Halalele said.

Hosting the clinic had been very successful and "really awesome", she said.



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