Walk-ins now available at all community Vaccination CentresVaccination buses began their rounds on September 16, 2021 (RNZ Photo by Mariner Fagaiva-Muller)
The vaccination programme in Auckland intensified today with the launch of special buses and with walk-in vaccinations facilities available at all community vaccination centres.
Six buses, with ‘Vaccinate for Auckland’ displayed on the side and rear, was blessed at an event at the Airport Park and Ride drive-through centre in the South Auckland suburb of Mangere, where many community cases have been reported since the outbreak of the Delta Variant about five weeks ago.
The first three buses operated at sites near supermarkets in Pukekohe, Papakura and Henderson, while three others are being fitted with special kits for service this weekend.
The buses will go to places where vaccination numbers are low or where local communities may be finding it more difficult to access other existing services.
Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) is coordinating the programme.
Its Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Director Matt Hannant said that the new bus fleet and walk-ins at all Community Vaccination Centres are aimed at removing any barriers for Aucklanders to get vaccinated.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their free Covid-19 Vaccine. This includes allowing people to just walk into any of our centres and get a vaccination
whenever it suits them and taking our vaccinations on the road and into local communities. The fleet is intended to offer communities both information and vaccinations,” he said.
Mr Matt said that the Centre is encouraging people to come for a discussion and get what they need to decide for themselves and their families.
“We will also be connecting with community groups to help answer any questions they might have before we visit their areas,” he said.
Key Bus Facts
As many as 12 buses are expected to be operating in the coming weeks. They will be run by Maori and Pacifica providers while others will be staffed by the District Health Boards (DHBs).
The buses will initially focus on locations in South and West Auckland. Maori and Pacific providers and the DHBs will work closely with communities to identify locations for the buses to visit.
At Alert Levels 3 and 4, vaccinations will be provided outside the buses to allow for social distancing measures. The buses will focus on locations people can go under these alert levels, such as supermarkets.
At lower Alert Levels, vaccinations will be provided inside the buses.
There will be around 12 staff on board, including vaccinators, observers, cold chain managers and administration staff.
The buses have been provided by Auckland Airport Park and Ride.
Vaccination for the young
Mr Matt said that anyone aged 12 and over can walk into any of the 14 Community Vaccination Centres and three drive-throughs across metro Auckland to get the vaccine.
“We are encouraging everyone who has not had their first dose to come along to one of our centres along with their bubble. We have lots of space available this week and hence anyone can walk in or book an appointment at a time that works for them,” he said.
People can ‘drive up’ to the following drive-throughs: the Auckland Airport Park and Ride centre in Manager, the North Shore Airport centre in Dairy Flat, and the Papakura Marae Centre.
Walk-ins and appointments are available at the following Community Vaccination Centres: Albany, Birkenhead, CBD, Epsom, Mt Wellington, Westgate, Henderson, Trusts Arena, Tamaki, Manurewa Marae, Otara, Pukekohe, Takanini and Highbrook.
People wanting to just turn up are asked to come at least an hour before the centre closes and allow for a short wait.
Further details can be obtained from https://immunisation.northernregion.health.nz/
People keen on getting vaccinated through a GP or pharmacy must book at bookmyvaccine.nz or call 0800-282926.
There are currently 14 community vaccination centres, 3 drive-throughs, 130 general practitioners and 54 pharmacies taking part in the vaccine roll-out, with more coming on board every week.