5 August 2021

Protecting our most vulnerable – vaccinations for Aged Residential Care residents finish up in Canterbury

Canterbury’s first mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams have completed their rounds of Aged Residential Care Facilities in Canterbury. Since the rollout began on 5 May, four mobile teams have fully vaccinated 5300 residents in 90 facilities across Canterbury. The teams also vaccinated around 1000 residents in Serviced Apartments to ensure facility ‘bubbles’ are protected.

Nursing Director, Older People – Population Health Richard Scrase, says the collaborative, whole-of-system approach by the Canterbury health system has been integral to the success of the mobile clinics.

“We’d like to mihi to the dedicated, hard-working Life Pharmacy in Ashburton and Amberley Medical Practice teams who delivered the vaccines to their local ARC facilities.

“Ryman Healthcare also delivered vaccines to their seven ARC facilities in Canterbury and are now supporting Canterbury DHB with delivering the vaccine to other retirement villages in Christchurch,” Scrase says. 

There will now be a ‘mop up’ of those relatively small number of individuals that arrived in ARC after the main mobile teams had been through.

In addition to the residents of aged care facilities, the mobile teams also vaccinated around 1000 staff and are close to completing the vaccination process for 1200 residents in the disability and mental health sectors.

“Our teams worked in new and unfamiliar environments every day, and the professionalism and empathetic approach of both the vaccinators and the administrators in those teams was noted by staff and residents,” Team Leader, Older Persons' Health Mardi Postill says.

“Equally, staff of the ARC facilities visited were always warm and welcoming and ready to adapt their environments into pop-up clinics for our mobile teams.”

The Canterbury DHB Older Persons Health Planning and Funding Team were a crucial part of both coordinating and supporting the rollout. 

“Finally, but by no means least, it is important to thank and acknowledge the fantastic team in Canterbury DHB’s Pharmacy service. Despite our ever-changing numbers and requests, they delivered each and every day and allowed the mobile vaccination teams to successfully complete this challenging but important job so that residents of our most vulnerable communities are now better protected against COVID-19,” Richard says.

The mobile teams will now turn their considerable skill to accommodating groups of the wider community that for a variety of reasons are unable to access vaccinations through existing clinics.

Kia whakakotahi mātaou, kia kaha ake mātau. Together we are stronger.

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