Health workers hoping to get remaining 6000 Coasters vaccinated

The Coast saw the country's highest increase in regional house sales in July. Photo: Getty Images
Greymouth, West Coast. Photo: Getty Images
GPs and pharmacists will join the push to reach the 6000 West Coast residents who have still not had a single Covid vaccine.

The West Coast District Health Board says staff have also been hitting the phones in a bid to reach more people.

The Government yesterday announced the South Island would be allowed to loosen its Covid alert levels before the rest of the country — if 90% of the population was fully vaccinated.

As of Monday, 57.3% of eligible Coast residents (12yrs and over) were fully vaccinated; 74.9% had the first vaccine or were booked; and 25.1% were unvaccinated.

That puts the West Coast more than 10% behind the national figure of 86% with the first dose.

West Coast DHB senior responsible officer for the Covid-19 response Philip Wheble said he expected a number of Coast GPs and pharmacies would be able to vaccinate people from early in the new year.

Both DHB and Poutini Waiora staff have been phoning people who had not engaged in the programme to invite them to get vaccinated.

It is also allowing people with questions about the vaccine to come and speak to the vaccination team before getting the jab.

"We are working with our health system partners to reduce as many barriers as possible to enable the remaining 6000 eligible West Coasters to get vaccinated."

Mr Wheble said Coast vaccination rates were proportionately lower among youth (12 to 19yrs) and younger adults (19 to 24yrs). He believed that was partly because the rollout initially focused on older people.

The DHB says it has offered to vaccinate in schools if supported by boards of trustees; these would be undertaken alongside the Poutini Waiora vaccination team.

Mr Wheble said over the next few weeks, the DHB would continue to offer a variety of vaccine options, from drive-through events, to fixed clinics, home visits, rest homes and health centres.

"Our team is also happy to work with Coast communities by bringing our mobile vaccination team to them."

The majority of those still unvaccinated were in the three main towns — Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika.

However, Ministry of Health figures show Buller vaccination rates are the worst, followed by Grey.

Next month, the mobile vaccination team will visit Reefton, Hokitika, Moana, Whataroa, Franz Josef, Haast, Karamea, Ngakawau, Kumara and Hari Hari.

"We urge everyone to make use of our current capacity and receive their vaccination as soon as possible."

Everyone aged 12 and over can book a vaccination appointment or visit a drop-in clinic (Greymouth, Hokitika and Westport).

If you would like a mobile team to come to your community, call 0800 492 342 or e-mail covax@wcdhb.health.nz to arrange a suitable date and time.

Upcoming clinics
Tuesday, October 26, Hokitika
Wednesday, October 27, Reefton
Thursday, October 28, Various Grey and Westland workplaces
Friday, October 29, Fox Glacier
Saturday, October 30, Greymouth whanau day
Sunday, October 31, Westport

  • You can book on-line at www.BookMyVaccine.nz or by calling the National Booking team on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, seven days).
  • Information about regular weekly clinics is available at vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz

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