22 Aug 2021

Hundreds vaccinated on first day of NZ's biggest drive-through centre

7:02 pm on 22 August 2021

More than 1500 people were vaccinated on the first day of New Zealand's largest drive-through vaccination centre in South Auckland.

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 Hundreds of essential workers, airport staff and people whose bookings were disrupted due to lockdown were vaccinated at the drive-through centre. Photo: Supplied / ADHB

Twenty-seven vaccinators administered doses to 1577 people at the pop-up vaccination centre at the Park and Ride site at Auckland Airport.

Those vaccinated included people who were invited after their bookings were disrupted last week due to the level 4 lockdown. The centre's initial focus is on vaccinating people who need to re-book, airport staff and essential workers.

Only people with invitations are welcome and they can bring their whānau/bubble with them (but only those 12 and over), and there must be at least one other person in the car.

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre programme director Matt Hannant said he was pleased with how the first day went but there will be lessons to take into day two and beyond.

"We had sent out appointments for 1000 people today so we're pleased to have exceeded those numbers which shows that people have heard the call to bring their whānau and bubble along to get vaccinated at the same time.

"Today was about making sure the process worked well and we saw early on how efficient this model can be so we opened up appointments to a slightly larger group."

At 3pm organisers decided to close off any further entries so they could get through the 300 to 400 cars already inside before the centre closed down at 4.30pm.

Some people who were in line may have been turned away, and the centre apologised for the inconvenience, Hannant said. They were all asked to return tomorrow.

The drive-through will reopen at 8.30am tomorrow and run for at least the next week. They hope to vaccinate about 2000 people a day.

"We really want to thank everyone who has made this first day come together so well. We'll be making some changes overnight based on what we learnt today to ensure things are even smoother tomorrow, this will include some additional staff coming on site to speed up processing and vaccine preparation," Hannant said.

"We also understand that there may have been some people turning up today who did not have appointments, we would ask that if people do not have an invitation, to please stay at home until you are invited.

"Staff are doing their very best to ensure that only those with appointments are allowed into the site so we ask that people are patient and wait until they are invited."

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