‘Vaxi Vans’ About To Hit The Streets Of Auckland
The latest initiative in the drive to get all Aucklanders vaccinated drove off the lot in Māngere today with the launch of the city’s first COVID-19 vaccination vans.
Eleven ‘vaxi vans’ were picked up by Māori, Pacific and primary care providers this morning, with up to 44 campervans set to be operating across Tāmaki Makaurau in the coming weeks.
The vans will help the city’s health providers get to communities that may have had difficulties accessing vaccinations as the push continues to get Aucklanders fully vaccinated at a time when COVID cases continue to rise.
The vans will offer vaccinations as well as an opportunity for kōrero for people who may still have questions.
“The campervans are another great way to get to some of those harder to reach places on the edges of Tāmaki Makaurau and to those people who have not yet been able to get their vaccinations,” said NRHCC Vaccination Programme Director Matt Hannant.
“It is more crucial than ever that we keep providing new ways to get people vaccinated, particularly when we are continuing to see new COVID-19 cases across the city.
“These smaller, more agile vehicles will help our provider partners to get to many of our rural communities or places where people don’t have easy transport options. It will also provide them with the flexibility to move to new locations around the city a lot quicker.”
The ‘vaxi vans’ are standard-sized campervans that have been fully kitted out with the cold storage required for the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as chairs and other equipment needed to quickly set up vaccinations on roadsides.
The first 11 vans will be operated by Huakina Trust and Turuki Healthcare (both south Auckland Māori health partners), as well as South Seas Healthcare. One van is also being taken up to Wellsford for use by Coast to Coast Healthcare, which part of the Haora Trust. They intend to use the van to get to isolated rural communities in the area.
Maria Clarke, Chair of Huakina Trust said: “The van enables us to alleviate stress for whanau and provides them and us with an agile and safe way to vaccinate them at their homes, schools or marae where they also feel more comfortable. We can take it to where our people are and we’re excited about the opportunities that brings.”
The different van designs were created by Bridgette Keil, Ngāti Tamaterā, from Koukou Creations. She said the Māori design on Huakina Trust’s Tuuwatawata bus and vans represents abundance and health, and serves as protection to the whānau and team along the vaccination pathway.
“It is a protector of our kaimahi as they travel our rohe enabling them to do the mahi in our communities,” said Bridgette.
The vans mark the start of a busy week for the NRHCC as the region’s vaccination coordination team prepares for Saturday’s National Day of Action.
On Saturday, all of the region’s vaccination centres, along with many GPs and pharmacies, will be staying open late to try to get as many people through the doors as possible.
Pop-up events will be held in a range of locations and the vaccination buses and campervans will also be out and about in local communities to provide opportunities for vaccinations closer to home.
Footage from this morning’s blessing and launch, together with b-roll is available at the following link: