Over 1500 People Vaccinated On First Day Of New Zealand’s Largest Drive-through Vaccination Centre In South Auckland
The first day of vaccinations at the country’s largest drive-through vaccination site has been a great success with over 1,500 people driving in with their whanau to get vaccinated.
The vaccination site, which was set up inside two days at the Park and Ride site at Auckland airport, saw 500 people come through by lunchtime today, after invitations went out to those whose bookings had been disrupted this week due to the Level 4 lockdown.
The day in numbers
· 1577 vaccinated over the course of the day
· Almost 150 in the first hour
· 500 by lunchtime
· 27 vaccinators
· 100 staff
· 40,000sqm of space utilised at Auckland Airport Park and Ride
The drive-through will initially last for seven days with the focus on those people who need to be rebooked, any airport staff who have not yet been vaccinated and essential workers like those in our supermarkets, bus drivers and taxi drivers.
Matt Hannant, Programme Director for the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre, 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 whanau 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. We had initially booked in those impacted at our Highbrook site but then also started inviting people who had bookings at other sites which we have not been able to reopen yet. The Airport has also worked closely with us to ensure any staff there who had not yet been vaccinated, were invited today.
“By 3pm we took the decision to close off any further entries to the site to ensure we could get through the 300-400 cars we already had inside by our close down at 4.30pm.
“We do appreciate that some people may then have been turned away and we apologise for this inconvenience, we are working as hard as we can to get this new system flowing smoothly and we have asked all of those people to come back tomorrow. We thank everyone for their patience in these challenging times.”
The vaccination site will reopen again at 0830 tomorrow and run for at least the next week of lockdown while the site is available to be used.
“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.
“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.”
Key drive-through centre facts
· The site will run from 8.30am to 4.30pm for an initial period of 7 days.
· The team expect to vaccinate around 1,000 people on the first day and then to increase this to 2,000 or more per day over the coming week. Existing large community vaccination centres currently vaccinate around 1,000+ people per day.
· People will be asked to come with their whānau/bubble aged 12 and over in car loads of 2 to 4 people. People need to bring at least one other person and won’t be able to attend by themselves.
· People will receive their vaccination while seated in the car. Anyone receiving a vaccination will need to sit by the car door and be vaccinated in the arm that is closest to the door. They will then be asked to drive through to the observation area and a staff member will let them know when they can leave.
· If people feel unwell during the observation period, they will be asked to honk their car horn and turn on their hazard lights.
· People will need to attend in a car or similar vehicle. The drive-through is not suitable for motorbikes or trucks or people on foot.