Pop-up clinics meet vaccination demand

Members of the Fiordland community took advantage of the second Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the Fiordland Community Events Centre in Te Anau on Saturday.

MORE than 760 Fiordland residents took advantage of two pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinics held in Te Anau recently.

Fiordland Medical administrator Sandra Soper said the clinics, held on August 28 and September 4 at the Fiordland Community Events Centre, were as a result of extra demand for vaccinations.

“With the recent outbreak and opening up to wider groups, the demand for vaccination increased, and many were concerned about having to wait for a space,” she said.

“The lockdown also created opportunity, both the ability to utilise the events centre and availability of staff and volunteers to run a drive-thru clinic.”

Additional vaccines were requested for the drive-thru clinics, which helped catch up with delays experienced for group three recipients earlier in the year, due to a lack of vaccines.

“We were set up with additional staffing in place to start from 14th June, but were not able to start until 27th July, due to lack of vaccine.

“Since then, we have been running Covid vaccination clinics at the medical centre three afternoons per week, with capacity to vaccinate 108 people per clinic.”

While it was intended both pop-up events were to be drive-thru, the weather on September 4 meant the second clinic was taken indoors.

“The strong winds on the morning of the second clinic meant the team had to quickly think of an alternative strategy, which involved asking people to leave their vehicles and enter the events centre stadium for the vaccination itself.

“This also worked well, with spacing of two metres maintained between bubbles and a one-way flow with the exit through a different door.”

People then returned to their vehicles for the observation period, she said.

Volunteers and equipment from the events centre, Te Anau Earthworks and Fiordland College were used during the clinics.