Best vaccination opportunity ‘now’, doctor says, as clinic opens

Dr Jon Scott, standing outside Central Medical’s new Covid-19 vaccine clinic in Eden St, is...
Dr Jon Scott, standing outside Central Medical’s new Covid-19 vaccine clinic in Eden St, is urging everyone to get vaccinated. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
"Get in, get it done."

That was the message from Dr Jon Scott yesterday, when Central Medical opened its new Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the Tongan Methodist Church, in Eden St.

For the past month, Central Medical has been administering about 84 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine a week. But with the new clinic now open, and more vaccines available, Dr Scott said 426 doses would be administered this week, and about 500 next week.

The Delta variant was "incredibly infectious" and people needed to be ready for it, Dr Scott said.

"Our window of opportunity to get as many people vaccinated is now."

Running a vaccine clinic was a very labour intensive exercise, Dr Scott said.

It added an extra 24 hours of work a week for staff, on top of their normal workload.

"But this is the way the Government has set it out and we just have to get on and do it."

Central Medical is one of several Waitaki practices ramping up its vaccine delivery from this week.

Southern DHB Covid-19 vaccine rollout incident controller Hamish Brown said clinics were also operating at Kurow Medical Centre, North End Health Centre, Oamaru Doctors, South Hill Medical and Whitestone Family Practice. East Otago Health, Unichem North End Pharmacy, North Otago Dispensary and Oamaru Pharmacy and will begin offering the vaccine from early-mid August, Mr Brown said.

More than 3614 doses had already been delivered in Waitaki, but some residents had received their vaccine outside the district, Mr Brown said. About 17% of Waitaki residents had received their first dose, and 11% were fully vaccinated.

By now, everyone in Group 3 of the Ministry of Health’s sequencing framework should have received an invitation via letter, email or text to book their appointment, he said.

The Southern DHB expected to deliver about 17,000 doses across the Southern district this week. More than 30 clinics are offering the vaccine across the Southern region.

"We anticipate having over 120 at the peak of the rollout to make sure we are reaching everyone in our widespread district," Mr Brown said.

rebecca.ryan@odt.co.nz

 

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