Keep up-to-date on the Covid-19 Vaccine rollout across Northland and Auckland.
"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.
Leading by example Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare visited Manurewa Marae to receive his second COVID-19 vaccination on Wednesday 28th April.
Minister Henare also encouraged older Māori and Pacific people and those living in their households (aged 16 years and over) to get vaccinated as part of the national vaccination awareness campaign. He received his first COVID-19 vaccination at Takapūwahia Marae in Wellington.
"It's important to lead by example and to show that I'm OK,” said Henare. “What I've found is that instead of vaccine hesitancy, it's more of vaccine anxiety.” The Labour MP said he was proud of the leadership role that Manurewa Marae had taken in protecting its community from the global pandemic.
"Manurewa has been the exemplar with respect to how they have cared for their community through the lockdown, and now they are doing it again with the vaccine."
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.
Hon. Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples, received his first COVID-19 vaccination on Thursday 8 April as Auckland’s first Pasifika-focussed vaccination centre opened in Otara.
The Minister received his first vaccination from registered nurse and current Miss Pacific Islands Fonoifafo Nancy McFarland-Seumanu.
“It was a piece of cake,” he said immediately after the jab. “I was a bit fearful as I don’t like needles but it is important that I lead the way in showing our community that there is nothing to be concerned about in receiving this vaccination.”
The centre, based in Otara, has been set up by Pasifika for Pasifika as a South Auckland Vaccination Centre. The lead provider is South Seas. They are 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. They are all providing the staff who will be doing the vaccinations.
The Otara centre will initially be vaccinating border and MIQ workers and their families plus frontline healthcare workers who are getting their vaccinations first because they are most at risk of catching COVID-19. Following those vaccinations, the Otara centre will then move on to those over 65 years’ old, or for those with serious health conditions in south Auckland.
They are ramping up slowly and gradually increasing capacity in a phased approach over the next few days. At full capacity the centre will 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.