News

Vaccinations get underway in Bay of Plenty

01 March 2021

The Te Moana a Toi (Bay of Plenty) vaccination programme kicked off today with 28 workers at the Port of Tauranga receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Vaccinations get underway in Bay of Plenty
Vaccinations get underway in Bay of Plenty.

Huge efforts have been put in by the Port of Tauranga, associated Port companies, Ngāti Ranginui as the principal port testing & vaccination provider, and our own Bay of Plenty District Health Board taskforce in organising to get vaccinations underway today. The vaccination teams will be onsite 11am-4pm Monday to Friday.

BOPDHB COVID-19 Response Manager Helen De Vere said the first day had gone well.

“It has been a very positive first day, with everyone involved appreciating how significant this effort is in keeping our community safe.”

De Vere added that she was proud of all involved.

"I would just like to say how immensely proud I am of everyone involved and to be a part of this team. It has been a huge logistical effort involving a lot of people going above and beyond to get us to where we are now.

"I want to thank everyone for meeting this challenge head on. Doing so, helped ensure we were in a great position to start the vaccination programme at 11am today."

The preparations have included site visits to Port of Auckland to discuss learnings taken from its rollout; testing processes including patient walk-throughs and dry runs of other systems (alongside the Ministry of Health) and ensuring a large staffing pool has been assembled. Q&A sessions with a panel of clinicians were also held last week for all port workers and their whānau to answer any questions or address any concerns.

COVID-19 vaccinations are being made available to our border and MIQ workers as a means of added protection against the risk they encounter as part of their workplace duties.  Vaccination is strongly encouraged to protect them and the people they live with.

"The broader picture of all of this of course is that we're doing the very best we can to protect our communities from the threat of COVID-19," added Helen.

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme is organised according to a priority system that will eventually progress from frontline/most at risk to vulnerable populations and ultimately the wider community around June/July this year.

BOPDHB have organised an online webinar for this Friday at 6pm, to provide an opportunity for whānau of Port workers and anyone else seeking guidance, to be able to put their questions to the country’s lead vaccination experts, Dr Rawiri Jansen and Dr Nikki Turner.  Details will be posted on the BOP Health COVID website covid19.bopdhb.govt.nz and Facebook pages as well as the BOPDHB online platforms.