The first fleet of Covid-19 vaccine buses hit the streets of South Auckland yesterday and got off to a solid start, according to vaccinators.
Dubbed Shot Bro, the buses are the latest strategy by public health officials to reach the city’s goal of having 80 percent of eligible Auckland residents vaccinated with at least one dose of Pfizer by Monday.
The buses are a collaboration with Maori and Pacific providers and the Northland and Auckland DHBs.
Matt Hannant, director of the vaccination program for the North Region Health Coordination Center, said Morning report Those of the first bus that left yesterday for noon vaccinated about 150 people.
“Buses can probably do 200 to 300 a day per trip,” he said.
“We’re just going to see our way through that. It’s less about high volume and more about reaching communities where there may be some access challenges or transportation issues. It’s about getting the vaccine to people.”
Information about the low vaccination rates in the areas is helping to focus directly on where the buses are sent. However, some concerns had been expressed that not enough information was being provided to those who operated the buses to find people in need of vaccination.
Hannant said urgent work was being done to ensure the information was available.
Efforts will increase over the next several weeks with the deployment of more buses.
“We have three buses on the road today. Then we will be building up to 12 in the next few weeks.”
The vaccination procedure would change according to alert levels over the next few months, but at this time, strict compliance with alert level 4 protocols was being observed.
“It’s a little bit different at level 4,” Hannant said. “So right now, all the buses are equipped inside. It has a small area where you do the vaccination preparation and below level 1 you sit on the bus and you have your 15 minute observation period in the back of the car. bus. .
“But because we are at level 4 and we have to have all the correct protocols in place, everything is done outside.
“So you just mix and prepare the vaccine inside and then give it outside, with people queuing socially distanced. We have lawn chairs where people sit for 15 minutes of observation.”
Brother shot a winner
The sight of buses with the Shot Bro logo had raised smiles, the inspiration of the Napier Jules Cunningham woman.
“I think it’s really amazing to see everyone get caught,” Hannant said. “We have some really great names in the future. We have more vehicles hitting the road soon, so just look at this space and we’ll have a lot of different names soon.”
Cunningham woke up yesterday not expecting to see photos of the mobile vaccination clinics with his idea of a nickname out front.
Earlier in the week, he had posted his suggestion on Twitter with a graphic he’d made of a Mr. Whippy-style vaccine bus, only with a giant syringe on the ceiling.
Not before a long time, the hashtag ‘Shot Bro’ was all the rage.
In a Facebook poll published by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it garnered more than 16,000 votes, beating its competitors Jabba Waka, Vaxi Taxi and Jabbin Wagon.
“I have a bit of fun in Photoshop and I tend to make up weird memes and that sort of thing, and I check them out on Twitter and have a little fun,” he said. Morning report.
“And the bottom line was that it was some kind of Mr. Whippy’s ice cream truck, so I slapped a big shred with a flower on it and looked at it … and ‘I shot him bro’, it just fell on me. head . “
She said many people had contacted her after the logo was revealed, and other people she knew were taking pictures of Shot Bro’s bus to post on social media showing they had received her jab.
“It’s really inspiring, everyone has supported it … There has been so much pressure around the whole Covid situation that we are in and I am always trying to find ways to do something positive.”