• Patrick McBride

COVID-19 Vaccination Expanding Across The Coast

West Coast DHB will be expanding the roll-out of its COVID-19 vaccination programme across the Coast shortly.

The WCDHB is currently getting ready to vaccinate Aged Residential Care residents and staff, some wider West Coast stakeholder partners and the wider public. Mobile vaccination clinics will visit the more rural communities over the coming months as planning and available resources allow.

"In consideration of the rural nature of the Coast, our COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan is based on optimising the number of people vaccinated, not the number of vaccination clinics. This means that when we set-up our clinics in smaller townships, we will be offering appointments to the wider publi." said, Ralph La Salle, Acting Executive Director Planning, Funding and Decision Support, West Coast DHB.

There will be a vaccination clinic at Reefton Health, Reefton on Thursday, 13 May which will primarily be for frontline health care workers, emergency personnel and people with underlying health conditions. However, they also invite residents of Reefton and surrounding areas to contact Reefton Health to register their interest if they would like to be vaccinated. All vaccinations will be by appointment only.

To date, initial roll-out has been focused on vaccinating frontline health workforce interacting with patients, frontline health workforce supporting people in high-risk place and at-risk people living in high-risk settings. Since the programme started in mid-April, around 990 people have received their first COVID-19 vaccination through our Greymouth and Westport fixed vaccination clinics.

"Overall, we expect to vaccinate approximately 26,500 eligible Coasters as part of our programme. As the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart, we need about 53,000 individual vaccines to complete our vaccination programme." La Salle added.

Further details outlining when and where the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the wider public will be announced in the coming weeks.