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Hundreds Raise Hand For Southern’s COVID-19 Vaccine Workforce

Doctor David Hunt and his wife Hilary have come out of retirement to support the COVID-19 vaccine workforce. The Dunedin couple are joined by over 800 others who have expressed an interest in joining the campaign.

Dr Hunt, a former anaesthetist, couldn’t wait to get involved as a vaccinator and his wife has joined him at the Dunedin clinic in the Meridian mall as part of the non-clinical staff.

The on-boarding of the Southern district’s vaccine workforce is well underway with at least 170 formal offers accepted to date, equating to 92.5 FTE, and another 83 offers extended. This includes clinical and non-clinical staff who will become the core workforce as we continue the COVID-19 vaccine campaign, building towards vaccinating to the general population (Group 4) in July.

‘We have had a fantastic response to our call to mobilise a workforce to support our vaccine rollout, with over 800 expressions of interest. Thank you to everyone who has put themselves forward, particularly those coming out of retirement to support our efforts,’ said Hamish Brown, Southern DHB Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Incident Controller.

It is estimated that the Dunedin and Invercargill clinics will require 130FTE when they are operating at capacity in July. Otago Polytechnic will supplement the Dunedin clinic with 35 final year students and eight registered nurse academics during the peak period.

As staff are on-boarded, they undertake a range of training. Clinical roles take part in day long face-to-face training sessions, as well as online components.

The fantastic progress recruiting our new vaccine workforce for the Southern region is due to the work of a significant collaborative effort across many of the Southern DHB's support and corporate service teams.

‘This has been, and continues to be, a stellar effort from all involved. Specifically, a massive thank you to our small human resources team of very dedicated individuals for the many hours of work which have allowed us to get to this point,’ Brown said.

He also acknowledged the hard work of partners across the Southern health system, including WellSouth, general practices, the pharmacy sector, Māori health providers, rural hospitals, aged residential care providers in the successful start to vaccinating the district.

If you have expressed your interest in joining the COVID-19 vaccine effort, thank you, your support and willingness to be involved is crucial. Please bear with us as our teams continue to work their way through applications as quickly as possible.

© Scoop Media

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