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Weekly Update Issue 37 - Thursday 13 January, 2022

94% of Taranaki people are fully vaccinated

91% of Taranaki people have received their first dose

11,608 booster shots have been administered 

82% of Taranaki Māori are fully vaccinated

88% of Taranaki Māori have received their first dose


199,812 

COVID-19 vaccination doses have been administered to Taranaki people

Taranaki Programme Weekly Update


It was a very busy start to 2022 for our vaccination teams with queues out of the door for booster shots the first day our main vaccination clinics were open, and plenty of arms ever since.

This response from the Taranaki people to the change from six months to four months between a second dose and a booster shot is fantastic, and our teams are very pleased to see you all.

From Monday, our clinics will be even busier as we begin the roll-out for our 5-11-year-olds as well as increasing numbers of those wanting their booster shots.

It is advisable to book an appointment to have your, or your child/rens, vaccinations administered as these will be given priority. Waiting times for walk-ins may vary and could be lengthly at peak times.

Book Your Booster and beat the queue


Liz Forrest (pictured above with vaccinator Vicky Hughes) was one of the first in the queue last week to get her booster shot as she is a frontline health worker and wanted to be sure her protection levels were maintained.

The length of time between a person's second dose and booster shot has been reduced from six months to four months in response to Omicron, as it will mean we can ensure more people have the fullest of protection before winter, when transmission rates could explode.

 

What is the booster shot?


The booster shot is the same Pfizer vaccine you received for your first and second doses. It works by 'boosting' the immunity your body built up when you first vaccinated to maintain the best level of protection possible.

Data is emerging that a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides better protection than a two-dose course against the Omicron variant alone. While  the initial two doses still provide some degree of protection against severe disease from Omicron, a booster is likely to offer greater protection against transmitting the virus to others and reduce the chance of more serious infections.

 

When can I get it?


Anyone aged 18 years and over (booster shots are not currently available for those aged under 18 years) who received their second dose a minimum of four months ago can get their booster shot.
 

Where can I get it?


Any clinic offering COVID-19 vaccinations can administer a booster does. It is much better to book an appointment than just walk-in, as we anticipate our clinics will get very busy and you may have to wait longer than you would like.

You can book a booster shot appointment with a 4-month gap on Book My Vaccine (from Monday 17 Jan), or by calling 080028 29 26 (8am- 8pm, 7 days). 

 

Are there side-effects?


If you experienced side-effects when you had your primary doses, it is likely you will have a similar experience after your booster shot such as a sore arm, feeling tired or 'under-the-weather' for a day or so, and/or a headache. 

Drinking plenty of water after your vaccination can help alleviate these symptoms.

 

Give your tamariki the best protection 


From Monday (Jan 17), children aged between 5 and 11 years old will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

It works in the same way as an adult dose, by enabling the body to produce antibodies against the COVID-19 virus. This means that if they do come into contact with someone with the virus, they are less likely to contract COVID-19, less likely to become very ill and less likely to transmit it to someone else.

Slowing, or stopping, the rate of transmission is the key to beating COVID-19, as it is only by being passed from person to person that keeps it alive. It also means that the virus is less likely to mutate in different strains such as Delta and Omicron.

Vaccinating children is already something that happens in Aotearoa, with youngsters being immunised against 12 childhood diseases including whopping cough, measles and polio.

Vaccinating your child/ren against COVID-19 is free, safe and effective.

 

Is the child dose the same as an adult dose?


The paediatric (child) dose is smaller than the adult dose, but no less effective.
 

Does it cause side effects?


As with any immunisation, your child is likely to have a sore arm and get redness, pain or swelling at the injection site. Other reactions that can occur, usually within one or two days, include:
  • headache
  • a fever (feeling hot)
  • nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, diarrhoea
  • fatigue
  • general discomfort (feeling unwell, aches and pains).
A cold flannel and paracetamol can help.
 

How can I prepare my child/ren for the appointment?


Make sure they have had something to eat or drink and that they are wearing clothing that makes it easy to see and access their arm. 

It is normal for a child to be scared or apprehensive - explain why it is important to have the vaccination and reassure them that any discomfort won't last long.

Maybe think about bringing a favourite cuddly toy, or an iPad or phone to distract them You will be able to access free wi-fi at our main vaccination hub in New Plymouth, and other clinics may also offer this service.

Be relaxed yourself - if you are worried and anxious, then your child is likely to be too. Remember, the injection only lasts a second and the protection it provides will help to keep your child and their whānau safe.

 

Do I need to consent for my child to have the vaccination?


Yes, a parent or legal guardian of the child needs to be present at the appointment to give their consent. Both you and your child can ask as many questions as you like and our friendly vaccinators will be happy to answer them.
 

Do we have to wait afterwards?


A 15-minute observation period must take place after the vaccine has been administered, to check that there will be no severe reactions. You may wish to bring a small toy, some colouring or a game on an iPad or phone for the child to play with during this time.
 

My child has a disability, is there support for us?


Andrea Rowe, our Disability Lead, can be reached on andrea.rowe@tdhb.org.nz and is happy to discuss individual requirements and make arrangements where required.
 

Where can I get more information about the COVID-19 vaccination for children?


Visit  COVID-19 vaccine and children: Information for parents and caregivers | Ministry of Health NZ for the most up to date information from the Ministry of Health.

COVID-19 vaccination and children | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz) also has good, easy to understand information, as well as more resource links.

Karawhiua — Karawhiua - Frequently Asked Questions gives information and advice from a more Māori perspective.

This is a cool child-friendly video made by the American Academy of Paediatrics that explains how the Pfizer vaccine works.



 

Where can I get vaccinated?

 
Check out the Taranaki DHB website for the latest updates on clinics and other important information

Tui Ora, Ngati Ruanui and Ngaruahine regularly post information about clinics on their Facebook pages so are well worth checking out.

COVID-19 Vaccination • Taranaki • Healthpoint has information about community pharmacies and GP clinics - not all our partner-providers are offering paediatric vaccinations so it pay's to check ( and book!) before you go.