Wānaka Sun       

Covid vaccines: the update

Posted at 1:18pm Thursday 26 Aug, 2021 | By Viv Milsom and Daisy Watford Author

Covid vaccination clinics operating at Aspiring Medical Centre and Wānaka Medical have moved as a result of the Level 4 Lockdown.


Aspiring has now set up its Covid vaccination clinic at the Wānaka Community Hub on McDougall Street, where they are providing extra clinics for Wanaka's essential workers, as well as all others who are eligible for the vaccine. Wānaka Medical's clinic is now at Wanaka Physiotherapy, near Wānaka Medical on Cardrona Valley Road.


Covid vaccinations were put on hold in Wānaka last week when the country went into Level 4 Lockdown and because of the need to keep all other patients separated from those getting vaccinated, medical practices across the region have had to re-think if and where they will vaccinate.


Because Aspiring and Wānaka Medical are providing the only Covid vaccination clinics in town, they have both decided to move to safe sites and keep vaccinating. Wānaka is something of a special case also in that its medical centres must remain open to accepting all patients, given that it takes between three to four hours to get to the nearest main centre hospital.


The good news is that from now, Aspiring will be operating four clinics a week on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


This will mean they can increase the number of vaccinations on offer to around 1350.


Previously they were offering around 450 vaccinations a week. They have also contacted essential workers in the area directly to book the min for vaccinations as soon as possible.


At Wānaka Medical there will also be more clinics on offer.


Given the requirements for social distancing, this will mean that at least the same number of people can be vaccinated each week. Before lockdown this number was between 800 and 900 a week and it is planned to increase this number under Level 4.


These new locations at the Community Hub and at Wānaka Physio will remain in place under Level 4 and 3 and to book appointments people can either go to Book My Vaccine online or call the Healthline on 0800282926. People over 40 are now eligible to book. For more details go to the Covid Vaccination site at www.health.govt.nz


TheBookMyVaccine website indicated last weekend there were no appointments in Wānaka for the rest of the year, but that is not the case. In fact, bookings could be made at a few days' notice this week.


Hamish Brown, Southern DHB COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Lead, said people living in the region shouldn't need to travel further afield for vaccinations. “It is the goal of the Southern COVID-19 Vaccination Programme team to ensure that no one should have to travel more than an hour for their appointment.”


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