Keep up-to-date on the Covid-19 Vaccine rollout across Northland and Auckland.
More than 600 residents on the remote Hauraki Gulf Island of Aotea (Great Barrier) are now fully immunised against COVID-19 having received their second doses at their local healthcare centre this week.
The Islanders recived their first vaccinations a month ago having been invited to take part in a one and a half day vaccination event. This approach was adopted by the Island because of its remote location and the logistics involved in getting the vaccine there.
Staff at the Westgate Vaccination Centre were delighted to welcome former Prime Minister Helen Clark for her vaccination on 24 June. The former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme was receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination as part of the Group 3 rollout.
Helen advocated for everyone to get vaccinated when it is available to them in a post to her Instagram page on 27 June.
"Strongly recommend that everyone gets their vaccination as it becomes available. High levels of vaccination worldwide are essential for ending the #pandemic. With the emerging more transmissible variants, unvaccinated New Zealanders will be increasingly at risk. No one is safe until everyone is safe. Don’t miss out when the vaccine becomes available for you. And The Fono provides an excellent and friendly service!”
Around 20 members of the Auckland Blues, fresh from their victory in the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby on 19 June, stepped up to be vaccinated at Manurewa Marae last Wednesday.
The group, many of whom are Māori and Pasifika, said they wanted to act as role models for their communities and anyone who may be feeling unsure about getting a vaccination.
Members of the Birkenhead RSA Line Dancing group were excited to step in and support the latest phase of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
The group of about 30 over 65s who meet three times a week talked about the importance of being vaccinated and how they wanted to get it done not only to protect themselves but also their families and communities.
A group of about 25 indoor bowling enthusiasts at the Henderson RSA stepped up to the support the latest phase of the rollout for the COVID-19 vaccination in Auckland by talking to us about their excitement that they will now be next in line with over 65s being invited from this week.
They encouraged all of their older peers to take the chance to be vaccinated when they got their invitations.
Four new community vaccination centres announced today to support vaccine rollout
Aucklanders aged 65 and over will receive an invitation to book their COVID-19 vaccination within the next week as Group 3 continues to roll out across the Auckland metro region.
Four new community vaccination centres in Albany, Tamaki, Pukekohe and Takanini have also been announced today to support the rollout to Group 3, and will be open by the end of June. All remaining Group 3 invitations in Auckland will be issued by mid-July.
Thousands of people aged 65 and over who live in south Auckland have already received a vaccination as a priority group under the government’s scheduling framework.
Over 110,000 people aged 65 and over living in the Auckland region will have received an invitation by text or email from NMF immunisation bookings by this Friday, 18 June.
“We’re really excited to be extending our programme further to keep more of our older population safe. The vaccines are free and an important part of keeping our community safe and protected from COVID-19,” said Matt Hannant, Programme Lead at Northern Region Health Coordination Centre.
The invitations are issued automatically by text or email, so people don’t need to do anything until they receive their invitation.
“We encourage you to click on the link and make your booking online as soon as you receive the invitation,” Hannant said.
“Our centres are busy, so please be aware you may need to book a few weeks out. We have a range of centres available across Auckland, so if your nearest centre is busy you can also check our other centres nearby for availability.”
The remaining invitations to Group 3, including people who have underlying health conditions (164,000), will be issued in a phased approach over the next month to help manage capacity at centres.
“If you’re part of Group 3, you’ll receive your invitation by text or email by mid-July. The invitations are being issued in a phased approach and you’ll receive the invitation automatically, so you don’t need to do anything until you receive your invitation,” Hannant said.
A number of General Practices are now providing vaccinations, and so some people may also receive an invitation from their local General Practice. In that case, they can choose whether to be vaccinated by their General Practice or at one of the main vaccination centres.
The first pharmacy in the Auckland metro region is now offering vaccinations, with more pharmacies to become part of the programme over the next few weeks.
The vaccination rollout will be extended to more General Practices as well as pharmacies over the coming months.
The NRHCC is also reaching out to people in Group 1 and 2 who are already eligible, including those aged over 65 in South Auckland and older Maori and Pacific communities, to remind them to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated and to confirm their second dose invitations if they have not already done so.
“If you’re over 65 and living in South Auckland or part of our older Maori and Pacific communities, and you haven’t yet made a booking, then we encourage you to call our helpline on 0800 28 29 26,” Hannant said.
Among those supporting the rollout into Auckland’s older population is Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. He has prepared a video message encouraging Aucklanders over 65 to get vaccinated when the invitation arrives.
“The COVID-19 vaccination is safe and free—I encourage everyone to respond to the invitation and get vaccinated when they have an opportunity,” Mayor Goff says.
“Getting vaccinated will keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe from COVID-19 and will help ensure that we can continue to go about our daily lives as normal without lockdowns and health restrictions.”
Key facts and statistics
• Over 300,000 vaccination doses have been provided across the Auckland Region
• Eight community vaccination centres in the Auckland metro region are now live, with four new centres to open by the end of June
• 21 General Practices have joined the vaccination programme, with an average of 10 new practices being onboarded each week
• The first pharmacy provider has launched in metro Auckland, with more to follow over the next few weeks
Members of the RSA in Birkenhead and Henderson, as well as a Chinese poetry group from the North Shore also stepped up to support the campaign this week. Messages to their communities are also being released to support the push for over 65s to be vaccinated. These messages are available here.
"Love thy neighbour and get vaccinated” was the catch cry as Auckland’s second Pasifika-led community vaccination centre opened at Westgate Mall, Wednesday 12 May.
The new centre is being led by The Fono Trust Pacific health provider in partnership with the Pacific Collective. At capacity it will be vaccinating up to 300 people per day by appointment and through community outreach.
The first to be vaccinated on site today were local church leaders, who were keen to lead the way and show their congregations how safe and straight forward the process is.
Reverend Superintendent of the Samoan Methodist Northern Auckland Synod, Le Afioga le Sea – Reverend Taumafai Komiti opened the launch event reminding people about the importance of protecting their families and communities: “We are reminded to love thy neighbour and get vaccinated,” he proclaimed to much applause from the dozens of gathered dignitaries. “This is the only way we will protect our communities and our families.”
The new centre aims to become the focal point for the Pacific community in West Auckland bringing in large Pacific church and community groups as well as the wider community. It is a centre awash with Pacific artwork and music which will remain throughout the vaccination programme.
The Westgate vaccination centre is located at 11 Westgate Drive in the old Westgate Mall.
The Waiheke Island Medical Centre has today become the first General Practice (GP) clinic in Auckland to begin vaccinating its patients against COVID-19.
The clinic in Oneroa delivered its first vaccinations this morning and will continue to rollout its immunisation programme over the coming months aiming to vaccinate all of the island’s inhabitants who haven’t already received their vaccinations on the mainland. At capacity they expect to vaccinate up to 90 each day.
The Island’s GP clinic is the first of many across Auckland starting their vaccination programmes from this week. On Thursday three more GP clinics start vaccinating: Ormiston Medical Centre, Hyland Park Medical and East Care Accident and Medical Centre. Next week a further 10 will be added, with many more planned to come on board over the next two months.
The start of the GP vaccination programme is a significant milestone for the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre which yesterday saw the 150,000 mark for total vaccinations delivered in the region, which is 97% of the targets.
The North Shore’s first community COVID-19 vaccination clinic opened at Birkenhead on the morning of Monday 10th May, making another important milestone in the rollout of the programme to protect the public.
Operated by Waitematā District Health Board (DHB), the Birkenhead clinic will be capable of vaccinating up to 1,000 people per day once it is fully up-to-speed, with 10 specially trained vaccinators working at-a-time to provide first and second doses.
Waitematā DHB CEO Dr Dale Bramley said the high-profile location would make it easy for members of the public to receive their vaccinations when they become due.
“As this is the first large vaccination clinic to open on the North Shore, it will serve a large and diverse population,” Dr Bramley said.
“In particular, it will be of benefit to members of our large and rapidly growing Asian community, which makes up 28 per cent of our district’s population of around 650,000 people.
A small family-owned and operated rest home in the south Auckland community of Papatoetoe has today become the first Aged Residential Care facility in Auckland to get its residents vaccinated for COVID-19.
A team of vaccinators from the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) vaccinated 38 residents and staff at Kenderdine Park Rest Home on day one of the region’s Aged Residential Care outreach programme.
“We are delighted to have started this important phase of our vaccination programme which will see some of our most vulnerable community members protected from COVID-19, said Matt Hannant, Vaccination programme lead for the NRHCC.
“There are over 180 Aged Residential Care facilities across metro Auckland so this is a significant undertaking but we will continue to scale up the outreach programme over the coming weeks with the support of our community partners and the facilities themselves.”
Kenderdine Park was chosen as a starting point for the programme as it sits in the heart of the South Auckland community highlighted as a priority within the national vaccination programme.
Owner Jennie Herring said they felt honoured to be the first centre receiving vaccinations.
“We pride ourselves on creating a healthy, safe and happy environment for our residents so to have them protected from COVID-19 Is a huge step in ensuring they continue to stay safe and well.”
More than 87,000 doses of vaccine have now been given to people across the Auckland region.
As well as starting vaccinations in aged care facilities this week, the NRHCC is also finalising agreements with several GP practices and urgent care providers across the region so that they too can deliver vaccines to support the rollout.
A number of new large vaccinations centres and small local centres will also be opening in the next few weeks across the Auckland region. The details and locations of these will be announced soon.
Triple Olympic medallist Dame Valerie Adams is used to leading the way in the sporting arena but on Saturday she led a new charge - getting her COVID-19 vaccination and urging the Pacific and Tongan communities to step up when it’s their turn.
Dame Valerie got her first vaccination at the newly-opened Mt Wellington community vaccination centre. She will have her second vaccination in three weeks time before setting off for Europe and a round of competitions before the Tokyo Olympics.
“I know it’s never that much fun (to be vaccinated) but I see it as a sense of responsibility to encourage my Pacific community to come forward and get the vaccination. It’s important because it’s part of keeping our families and our community safe so hopefully this encourage them to seek more information about it and be well informed about the whole process.
“A lot of us also have family overseas and ultimately we want to open the borders so we can travel internally, this is a step in the right direction for doing that,” the four times shot put World Champion added.
The Mt Wellington vaccination centre is the second large vaccination venue established in Auckland which will be able to take up to 1,000 people a day once operating at full capacity. For now, the centre is vaccinating by appointment only for those individuals included in the Government’s first two phases of the vaccination rollout.
Frontline emergency service workers were among the first to get their COVID-19 vaccinations at Auckland’s second large-scale community vaccination centre which opened in Mt Wellington.
The Mt Wellington site on Leonards Road, joins Highbrook Drive, East Tamaki as the second vaccination centre capable of vaccinating up to 1,000 people per day once operating at full capacity.
St John’s Ambulance staff and Police, many of whom are based in Mt Wellington, stepped up to have their vaccinations on opening day. Police staff were being vaccinated due to their role in protecting border and MIQ facilities while ambulance staff are part of the Government’s phase two scheduled roll out of frontline healthcare workers.
The Mt Wellington centre, like all our vaccination centres, will be increasing numbers in a staged ramp up, as the national schedule moves toward public vaccinations in July. In the meantime, the site, like all others in Auckland, will continue to vaccinate by appointment only.
“It has been a significant undertaking as we continue to open up our vaccination centres across Auckland and we’re incredibly grateful to all of those partner agencies who have supported the process to date, and worked very hard to achieve this,” said Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Programme Lead, Matt Hannant.
“It is important to note that our centres are still ramping up and we are planning to open more sites across Auckland over the coming weeks. This is the largest logistical operation ever undertaken by the health sector so we’re pleased to be making such good progress across the region,” he added. St John Ambulance staff and Police are included in the Government’s second phase of the vaccination rollout due to their frontline duties.
St John COVID lead and intensive care paramedic Rebekah Judd said the vaccination process was very straightforward and encouraged everyone to take up the vaccine when it was offered.
“Our people are often the first to respond when people become ill from COVID-19 and we’re pleased to be able to support the Government’s vaccination rollout while also ensuring our people are safe.”
Māori engagement across Tamaki Makaurau has been boosted with the opening of the first Māori –led community vaccination centre for the Northern region.
The centre is a partnership between Manurewa Marae and the Whānau Ora Community Clinic with the support of the Northern Regional District Health Boards.
Manurewa Marae is situated in an area with the highest density Māori population for metro Auckland. Vaccinations are by invitation through a booking system and will initially focus on vaccinating Kaumātua, their kaimahi Māori (Workers) and frontline staff and patients from Te Manu Aute, the Primary Health Care Clinic with chronic health conditions.
The establishment of the vaccination centre at Manurewa Marae was endorsed by Manawhenua I Tamaki Makaurau who supports the protection of kaumātua and those with underlying health conditions.
Marae Chair, Rangi McLean, offered up his arm to be the first vaccinated in the hope that those who are unsure will trust that the vaccine will protect against COVID-19.
“I’m excited to finally see the rollout happening and to be able to share it with our people is encouraging. I couldn’t ask them to get vaccinated if I wasn’t prepared to do it myself. It’s the start of getting back to normal - well I hope so,” he said.
Auckland’s first Pasifika-focused vaccination centre, set up by Pasifika for Pasifika, opened in Ōtara on Thursday 8 April.
The South Auckland Vaccination Centre is led by provider South Seas. They’re working as part of a wider Pacific collective that includes, Southpoint Family Doctors, Bader Drive Doctors, The Tongan Health Society, The Fono and Health Star Pacific. The collective provides the staff who do the vaccinations.
The Ōtara centre was initially vaccinating border and MIQ workers and their families, as well as frontline healthcare workers who had their vaccinations first because they are most at risk of catching COVID-19.
Following those vaccinations, the centre started vaccinating those over 65 years old and those with serious health conditions in South Auckland.
They've been ramping up, gradually increasing capacity to vaccinate between 300-500 people a day.
The second group of people in the national vaccine roll-out plan are frontline health and disability workers. We rely on them to protect the most vulnerable in our communities so it’s vital they get this extra protection.
Over the next two months healthcare workers across the healthcare system, including DHB employees and those working in primary and community organisations, will receive an individual invitation to come and be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
In Northland and Auckland vaccination centres have opened in some of our major hospitals to make it easy for frontline hospital staff to get their vaccines. More vaccination centres are opening in community settings in the coming weeks so people can get their vaccine at a time and place that works best for them.
If you are a frontline health and community care worker, you can find out more about getting your vaccine in Northland and Auckland in our quick guide
Find out when it will be your turn to be vaccinated by using the government’s new new online tool.
And once you get your personal invite, don’t wait - please take up the opportunity as soon as possible. There is enough vaccine for everyone in NZ.
The second round of COVID-19 vaccine doses for border and MIQ workers is underway in the Northern Region. On March 17 the first cohort of workers who were vaccinated three weeks ago had their second (and final) dose.
One of those was Jet Park operations manager Drew Leafa who works at the Auckland quarantine facility. Mr Leafa says having his second vaccination was “brilliant. I now feel like I have tripled my protection and feel so much better for it. I know there is a lot of scepticism and theories out there, but I know it is going to save you, save your family and save your life.”
Starting our vaccination roll-out doesn’t mean we can stop practicing COVID-19 health measures – including getting a test if you have symptoms. We celebrated a major milestone last week with more than 1 million COVID-19 completed in Northland and Auckland since testing began in February 2020.
Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Fepulea'i Margie Apa thanks everyone involved in this significant milestone.
“Reaching this milestone highlights the hard work that our people in the Northern Region, community and primary health care staff, including Māori and Pacific providers and Urgent Care Clinics, healthcare workers in MIQ facilities, laboratory workers and DHB staff have put in to identify and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region. I am exceptionally proud of everyone involved.”.
Our first large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinic opened in south Auckland on Tuesday 9 March to vaccinate household contacts of border and managed isolation and quarantine workers. Two more large-scale centres will open in Auckland in the coming weeks, and we are working in partnership with Mâori and Pacific NGOs to set up smaller community-based vaccination centres.
At this stage of the roll-out we’re only vaccinating people who have been invited to attend the centre (because they are households of border and MIQ workers). From mid-year the general public will be able to get their vaccinations including at large-scale centres like this one. Find out more about the national roll-out plan here.
Air New Zealand employee James Fogasavaii’s parents and sister headed to the centre this morning for their first COVID-19 vaccination. “It’s an extra protection for our family and for our community so it’s good to get the vaccination done, “ James said.
We’re celebrating a milestone! More than 10,000 people in Northland and Auckland have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. They will be invited to receive their second dose about 21 days after the first one. Thanks to everyone involved in this life-saving programme – it’s off to a great start! Border worker Brooke Sneddon (pictured) was one of the first people vaccinated in Northland earlier this month.
Northland kicked off COVID-19 Vaccinations On 1 March 2021 with around 87 border workers from Northport and Opua Wharf vaccinated at nearby community based testing centres. They included a range of people, such as customs workers, marine pilots, data entry operators and other staff who work on the border at Northport to screen/manage vessels arriving into Marsden Point. Around 300 border workers and 900 household contacts have been invited to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Northland.
“It doesn’t hurt and it was really easy.” Lynette Faiva was the first border or MIQ worker to be vaccinated for Covid-19 on 20 February 2021. Lynette works at Auckland’s quarantine facility and said she was grateful for the opportunity to receive the vaccine and will be encouraging her whānau to make an informed decision. “It was about providing another layer of protection.”
Registered nurse vaccinator Michelle Wood talks about how she and her colleagues will deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to border workers at the port.
Do you have questions about the Covid-19 vaccine? Hear from Dr Nikki Turner and Jane Morphet from the Immunisation Advisory Centre on how the vaccine works and why it’s important you get it.
We’re on a countdown to deliver the first vaccines to the MIQ and border workers who are essential to our on-going success in beating Covid-19.