Southland mayors happy with immunisation tour

More than 170 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were delivered in the first two days of the Farmgate Tour in Southland.

Gary Tong. Photo: ODT files
Gary Tong. Photo: ODT files
Gore and Southland Mayors Tracy Hicks and Gary Tong are touring Southland this week, taking caravans and WellSouth staff across the region in a push to get more people vaccinated.

Provisional numbers showed 175 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered during Monday and Tuesday’s effort.

Mr Tong said he was overwhelmed by the support of the communities.

‘‘We’ve been giving a lot of thumbs up in bringing vaccination to them, so it is great.

‘‘I’m very happy — I’m actually overwhelmed with the numbers that are coming.’’

Mr Tong was leading the vaccination tour on the western side of Southland, while Mr Hicks was focusing on the east and north.

The ‘‘Tong group’’ delivered 73 doses in those two days (43 on Monday and 30 on Tuesday), while the ‘‘Hicks group’’ delivered 102 doses in the same days, 51 vaccines each day.

Both mayors were happy many were having their first doses.

From the 30 vaccines delivered in Centre Bush and Dipton on Tuesday, 11 were first doses.

From 51 doses delivered in Waikaka and Wyndham on the same day, 21 were for people having their first vaccine dose.

Mr Hicks said many of the people explained they had not been vaccinated yet due to the busy time at their farms.

‘‘They are appreciating the fact they don’t need to go too far from the farms to get their vaccinations,’’ he said.

‘‘So it has been working well.’’

Both mayors continue their tour today and will visit Gorge Rd (from 11am-2pm), Mossburn (11am-1pm), The Key (3pm-7pm) and Woodlands (4pm-7pm).

The Southern District Health Board this week celebrated the milestone of having 90% of Southern’s eligible population receiving at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

At yesterday, Otago and Southland’s rate of the eligible population double-dosed was 78%.