Saturday, December 4

The largest vaccination center in the country installed at the airport


A tour of the vaccination center in Auckland will open today to make up for appointments postponed due to alert level 4 lockdown.

Healthcare workers administer the Modern COVID-19 vaccine to a couple in a car at a vaccination event for residents 65 and older at Dewey O. Boster Park and Sports Complex on January 7, 2021 in Deltona, Florida.

US healthcare workers prepare to vaccinate a motorist at a driving event in Deltona, Florida, earlier this year.
Photo: AFP

The center, set up in the park and the venue for the rides at Auckland Airport, will be open for a week.

Matt Hannant of the North Region Health Coordination Center said the venues were by invitation only and would prioritize those who missed their appointment, as well as include some essential workers.

“You’re going to drive to the site, ask some screening questions, sign up and then there’s a series of vaccination tents in the parking lot – go to one of those, quick consent, do your vaccination, and then go into the observation area.

“If you’re not feeling well, honk the horn or turn on the lights or yell out the window … There are many doctors around. They will come and help you; otherwise, leave after 15 minutes and then go back to your day.”

1,000 people were expected to be vaccinated today, with around 2,000 per day for the rest of the week, so as many as 13,000 people could be vaccinated by the end of the week.

“We’ve always had this plan in our back pocket. With the closure, our sites have slightly reduced capacity and we’ve had to divert some of the staff to testing and contact tracing.

“This is a really good way to do a lot of volume and we have sites available to us that are not normally available. So we have all the airport facilities during the closing period.”

He said there is a chance the site will stay set up longer.

“For starters, we are only focusing on that seven day period and we will wait and see what announcements come from the government.

“But if the model works and we can find other locations, then it is certainly something we would look to adopt in the future, particularly if the community really embraces it.”

People must come with at least one other person and will receive the vaccine while sitting in the car, in the arm closest to the car door.

People could not pass in trucks, motorcycles or on foot.

Hannant said it would be better if people who cannot come by car or with someone else get vaccinated elsewhere.

He said that people who were feeling bad, who had been to a place of interest or who were waiting for a test result should not attend.

Yesterday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that a record 56,843 vaccines had been delivered nationwide on Friday.

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