Bay to boost its Omicron battle with drive-through vaccinations | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

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Bay to boost its Omicron battle with drive-through vaccinations

25 February 2022

Following a spike in COVID-19 cases, Bay of Plenty health officials are urging eligible residents to boost their immune system in the battle against the Omicron variant of the virus.

Another series of drive-through COVID-19 vaccination events are being held in the district this weekend, with eligible people invited for first and second doses aged five and older, and boosters.

Drive-through events are being held at the Tauranga Racecourse this Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm, at the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall carpark this Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, and at the Kawerau Ron Hardie Recreation Centre this Sunday from 10 to 3 pm.

“Every dose counts in strengthening our collective armour in the battle against Omicron,” says Bay of Plenty District Health Board senior responsible officer – COVID-19 Programme Brent Gilbert-De Rios.

The Ministry of Health reports there is growing evidence that three doses of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine is protective against infection and symptomatic infection for Omicron.

Boosters lower the chances of getting very sick from Omicron or needing hospitalisation, and help to reduce the spread to whānau and community, says Gilbert-De Rios.

“While two shots were great protection against Delta, we need to get boosted for Omicron,” explains Gilbert-De Rios.

The district health board reports more than 105,000 people have had their booster, but more than 55,000, or approximately 35 percent, remain eligible.

“If you are 18 or older and had your second shot at least three months ago, come along and get boosted. And bring your tamariki to give them the best protection against COVID-19 too,” says Gilbert-De Rios.

The Ministry of Health recommends immunising children aged five and older against COVID-19 to keep them safe and to help protect whānau and communities from the virus.

More than half a million COVID-19 vaccinations have now been administered in the Bay of Plenty, including first, second, third primary (for severely immunocompromised people), booster and paediatric doses (for children aged 5-11 years).

To date, the vaccine has been administered in the district across 340 days by 547 vaccinators at 73 vaccination sites. The youngest person to have received the vaccine was five years old, and the oldest was 106.

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s Tauranga Central COVID-19 community vaccination centre, at 87 First Avenue, will be closed this weekend to enable staff to support Tauranga’s drive-through event. Similarly, the Whakatāne COVID-19 community vaccination centre, at 11 Quay Street, will also be closed on Saturday to support Whakatāne’s drive-through event.

Tauranga COVID-19 vaccination drive-through
Tauranga Racecourse, Cameron Road
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 February, 10 am–3 pm

Whakatāne COVID-19 vaccination drive-through
Whakatāne War Memorial carpark, Short Street
Saturday 26 February, 10 am–3 pm

Kawerau COVID-19 vaccination drive-through
Ron Hardie Recreation Centre, Onslow Street
Sunday 27 February, 10 am–3 pm