A month after the Pfizer vaccine began being delivered to people in the Ministry of Health’s Group 3, (people at risk of getting very sick from Covid-19), the first doses reached the Hibiscus Coast.
A Pharmacy Care Group team delivered jabs to more than 150 aged care residents and 98 staff at Evelyn Page in Ōrewa on June 5.
First up was Gloria Sowden, 73, who enthusiastically put up her hand to be the first resident vaccinated.
Until now, it has been possible for local residents in Groups 1-3 to be vaccinated in other parts of Auckland, but the rollout is now accelerating locally.
The Ministry advises that residents of all 11 Aged Residential Care facilities on the Coast will receive their first dose this month. After that comes everyone aged over 65 – the Ministry says invitations are being sent to them this month.
Once this is done, the remaining population aged 16-65 (Group 4) will be able to be vaccinated, including those living in retirement villages. This group will get their vaccinations from a local GP or pharmacy, starting at the end of next month. The Ministry also plans to open a Community Vaccination Centre on the North Shore soon, which will be available to Hibiscus Coast residents.
Not all local GPs will be able to offer the jab. GPs, pharmacies and urgent care centres have been given guidelines for staffing and space by the Ministry which could be prohibitive, especially for small to medium-sized practices whose general services are already at capacity, or have limited waiting room space.
One practice that is able to offer the vaccine is Silverdale Medical, which will begin administering the Pfizer vaccine this month to its registered patients, by invitation, starting with the most at risk. The practice spokesperson says that by September, its Weiti Creek clinic should start delivering vaccines to the wider community.
Meanwhile, local pharmacies have trained staff ready to offer the vaccine, but must wait to get the go-ahead. Every vaccination site also has to go through a DHB sign-off process to ensure quality and safety standards are met.
The vaccination is free. Info: www.covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines/our-covid-19-vaccination-plan/covid-19-vaccine-rollout-groups/