Vaccine rollout begins

    Public health nurse Eileen Ryan was giving Covid-19 vaccinations on Monday in Invercargill. Photo: Laura Smith

    VACCINATIONS for Southland front-line health workers against Covid-19 began in Invercargill this week.

    The Southern District Health Board (SDHB) set up clinics at the WellSouth Offices and Murihiku Marae in Invercargill, where health workers patients

    SDHB chief executive Chris Fleming welcomed the vaccination of the district’s front-line health workers.

    “Having faced the challenge and disruptions caused by Covid-19 over the past year, it is a great relief to now have the opportunity to be rolling out a vaccine to protect our population

    This phase of vaccination also included aged residential care, he said.

    More than 420 workers at South Port, the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter and Port Otago already had their first dose and were receiving their second dose of the vaccine last week.

    About 500 households of those workers also had their first Covid-19 vaccine last week.

    The Ministry of Health estimated people who are at higher risk (Group 3) would have their start date for vaccinations next month, while the general population would be on July.

    Southern Covid-19 vaccine rollout incident controller Hamish Brown said it was a complex logistical task, given the volumes of people, the size of the district, and logistical constraints of the Pfizer vaccine.

    “We are working together to accomplish this important task that offers us a pathway to the safety and freedoms we have been missing for the past year.”