15 Jul 2021

Mass vaccination event aims to immunise 5000 people a day

10:08 am on 15 July 2021

Vaccinators will inject one person each a minute at the country's first mass Covid-19 vaccination event - if all goes to plan.

NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 13: 12 years and older New Yorkers are getting vaccinated at the St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Bronx of New York City, United States on June 13, 2021.

Pfizer vaccines. Photo: AFP

Just 12 of them will immunise 15,000 people over three days at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau from 30 July.

And details of the first big corporate vaccinations have been revealed, as well as plans for up to 100 GP clinics in South Auckland to be vaccinating in the next two months.

The mass event in Manukau is going to be unlike any others so far in New Zealand, with organisers seeking advice on how to do it from overseas.

A vaccination lead for Auckland's DHBs, Alex Pimm, said it will be very fast-paced, with a lot of work done by other people to allow vaccinators to move quickly.

MIT students and their families will book in advance and there will be no walk-ins, to keep a degree of control for the first event.

Those getting vaccinated will start at the campus, have a health check then get bussed to the Vodafone Events centre, Pimm said.

"People will be asked to sit in a three-sided booth and a vaccinator will come up and down the line with an admin support person to vaccinate the people," he said.

A wider team of 130 will do health checks, admin, logistics and even draw the vaccine into the syringes.

That will help the each vaccinator to do a bit under 450 people each per day, Pimm said.

"Our focus is making sure we use our vaccinators really efficiently," he said.

There were many other opportunities to receive a vaccine in addition to the mass event, he said.

"We continue to run all of our vaccination centres and we are opening new vaccination centres in Auckland each day, and there's many new GPs and pharmacies coming on board over the coming weeks," Pimm told Morning Report.

The event had been timed to match further deliveries of vaccines due by the end of the month, Pimm said.

And the rollout to big companies - a key part of the government's rollout plan - is set to start.

Mainfreight chief executive Don Braid said his company is ready to go.

They'd had a private vaccination company help them set up a space at their Auckland HQ - workers will make a booking and they'll bring them there from all over the city.

Using the Ministry of Health booking system has been a bit frustrating but the kinks are being ironed out, he said.

Vaccination was optional but he thought there would be good uptake from the 1500 staff in Auckland and - if there was enough supply by then - their families too.

Fonterra and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare are also in the mix for the early corporate rollouts, he said.

He was keen to get to Mainfreight in other parts of the country too.

Details about GPs will be used in South Auckland have been revealed, and will signal what is likely to happen elsewhere.

Pimm said the plan in the next couple of months was to have as many as 100 clinics taking part as well as 40 pharmacies.

Manukau doctor Api Talemaitonga's clinic had offered to take part and he was pleased to hear the news.

Patients had been asking them when they were going to start, he said.

"They trust us to do and their reply often is 'I'll just wait until you start to do it,'" he said.

The mass vaccination events were a great idea for some people, but the GPs could reach others when they came in for other appointments, he said.

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