8 April 2021

COVID-19 vaccination programme roll-out to commence on the Coast next week

Dr Brendan Marshall receiving his COVID-19 vaccination
Dr Brendan Marshall receives his first COVID-19 vaccination from Immunisation Co-ordinator Betty Gilsenan.

Please attribute the following to Ralph La Salle, Acting Executive Director Planning, Funding and Decision Support, West Coast DHB: 

West Coast DHB will be commencing the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme across the Coast starting next week.

We have established a fixed vaccination clinic in the Community Services building on the Te Nīkau Hospital & Health Centre campus in Greymouth and once the programme is underway we will continue to roll it out to other locations as planning and available resources allow.

At this stage, we anticipate that vaccines will be available in Westport in late-April and across the rest of the Coast in early May. In consideration of the rural nature of the Coast, our COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan is based on optimising the number of people vaccinated, not the number of vaccination clinics.

The initial roll-out of the vaccine will be to frontline health workforce interacting with patients, frontline health workforce supporting people in high-risk place and at-risk people living in high-risk settings. We expect to initially vaccinate around 2,500 ‘tier 2’ people and approximately 24,000 eligible Coasters as part of our ‘tier 3 & 4’ roll-out.

As the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart, we need about 53,000 individual vaccines to complete our vaccination programme. We are currently finalising our appointment booking system which will assist us in determining the number of vaccines required at each stage of the programme.

On advice from the Ministry of Health, we are working to align our COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme with our annual influenza vaccine programme which is focused on immunising as many people aged 65 and over from 14 April so they can access the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them.

We will provide further details shortly outlining when and where the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the wider public. To be eligible, you need to be 16 years of age or older and we encourage anyone who is not registered with a general practice to do so.

There is plenty of vaccine for everyone, so no-one will miss out. Your patience is appreciated.

More information about getting the COVID-19 vaccine is available on the MoH website: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-getting-vaccine 



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