First Of Southern District’s Pharmacies Start On-site COVID-19 Vaccinations As Rollout Continues To Ramp Up
- Appointment capacity increased across the district
- Meridian COVID-19 Vaccine Centre starts vaccinating on Saturdays
- First clinic opens in Winton
The Southern District’s Covid-19 Vaccination programme is continuing to ramp up, with eight pharmacies across the district among the latest sites to begin offering on-site COVID-19 vaccinations – the first of 37 pharmacies that will be part of the vaccination programme in the district.
This will further boost the more than 30 vaccination sites already operating across Southland and Otago and is part of a longer-term plan that will see around 120 vaccination providers operating at the peak of the rollout as the vaccination programme continues to expand.
Southern DHB COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Incident Controller, Hamish Brown said: “from the beginning, the Southern Vaccine programme team identified the importance of primary care and pharmacy in reaching our widespread district.
“We are now significantly ramping up capacity, including at the Meridian Vaccination Centre where appointments are now available on Saturdays, and we are excited to have more pharmacies and general practices coming on board in the coming weeks.”
Brown extended his thanks to partners, vaccinators and administrators across the Southern health system who are helping deliver the programme. This includes WellSouth, general practices, community pharmacies, Māori health providers, public health nursing, rural hospitals, aged residential care providers and mental health and disability providers.
In Dunedin, Unichem Central Pharmacy Mosgiel, Unichem Knox Pharmacy, Antidote Macandrew, Antidote Meridian and Anderson’s Exchange Pharmacy will be offering appointments from this week.
Five Mile Pharmacy in Queenstown, Bates Pharmacy in Balclutha and Winton Pharmacy are the first rural pharmacies to be offering the vaccine.
Winton Pharmacy is the first provider to begin offering the vaccine in the Southland town.
Winton Pharmacist Maddy Miles said they were really excited to start offering the vaccine to their community.
“The response has far exceeded our expectations – we are fully booked for the next four weeks,” she said.
“As a rural pharmacy, it is great to have the opportunity to offer this service to our customers. Winton has a diverse population from young families to older residents and it is great that they don’t have to drive to Invercargill, especially in the winter.”
All eight pharmacies are taking bookings in line with the Ministry of Health’s sequencing framework.
Bookings are also now open for the rest of New Zealand (group 4) – initially for those aged 60 and over who can book online through BookMyVaccine.nz – the new online national booking system - and the COVID Vaccination Healthline 0800 28 29 26. The Vaccination Healthline is open from 8 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week.