First vaccinations in Queenstown

Queenstown Medical Centre nurse Suzie Hilton receives her first Covid-19 vaccination from...
Queenstown Medical Centre nurse Suzie Hilton receives her first Covid-19 vaccination from colleague Liz Taylor at the Isle St clinic on Saturday. PHOTO: TRACEY ROXBURGH
The first day of administering Covid-19 vaccinations in Queenstown went without a hitch.

The Pfizer vaccinations are being overseen by the Southern District Health Board and the first tranche is open to frontline health workers, border workers and household contacts of those people.

On Saturday, about 2000 people received their first of two doses at one of three medical centres in Wakatipu.

Queenstown Medical Centre had been turned into a vaccination clinic over the weekend and within the first four and a-half hours on Saturday 140 people had received their first dose.

After vaccination, people were monitored for 20 minutes to ensure there were no adverse reactions.

QMC chief executive Ashley Light said the vaccination rollout had been a "real team effort" between Wakatipu medical staff, the primary health organisation and the health board.

While the third tranche of vaccinations — to be administered to those over the age of 65 or with long-term medical conditions, was scheduled to begin next month, "we’re doing our best to make sure no vaccinations will go to waste", he said.

Among those to receive their vaccines on Saturday was QMC nurse Suzie Hilton, who said it was "really exciting" to be part of a defining moment in Queenstown’s history.

Mr Light said while the Covid vaccine was only available to those over the age of 16, the vaccination schedule should still be followed by anyone under that age, "especially MMR".

"That’s far more deadly than Covid’s ever going to be."

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