COVID-19 Immunisation programme starts in Taranaki

4 March 2021

Taranaki border workers will be some of the first people to receive a free COVID-19 vaccination this week when the country’s biggest immunisation programme starts in New Plymouth.

Taranaki DHB and Port Taranaki have been working together to ensure everyone who is eligible for a free vaccine has access to one. Vaccination bookings started last week, with around 60 border workers hoping to be vaccinated in the first week.

Taranaki DHB’s General Manager Planning, Funding and Population Health, Becky Jenkins, says border workers are most at-risk of coming into contact with the virus and that’s why they’re being offered vaccinations first.

“Our border workers are essential to our ongoing success in beating COVID-19. They protect our community every day at the border. Once border workers have been vaccinated, we’ll start vaccinating their household contacts.”

The nursing and administration team who are delivering the immunisation service have also had access to the vaccination this week to ensure they are protected. Border workers and their whānau have been provided with advice and support to attend their vaccination appointment at a location near Port Taranaki.

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in New Zealand and Taranaki DHB’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Greg Simmons, strongly recommends vaccination to protect yourself and the people you live with against the risk of COVID-19.

Dr Simmons says “COVID-19 vaccination is a significant milestone in New Zealand’s fight against the virus. The COVID-19 Immunisation Programme is the biggest single logistical exercise our health system has ever tackled and we hope Taranaki residents do their part to make it a success”.

To manage safety and security of the border workers completing their vaccination process, people are being asked not to turn up to be vaccinated unless they have an appointment.

Taranaki DHB is still reminding everyone to remain vigilant in alert level 2 and stick to the basics: washing hands coughing and sneezing into the elbow, and wearing masks or face coverings on all public transport. It is also important to continue using the COVID Tracer app and scan QR codes wherever you go.

Last updated: Thursday, March 4, 2021

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