The roll out of Covid vaccinations for Wānaka began last weekend, with a clinic for frontline health workers held at the Wānaka Medical Centre. Residents and staff of Elmslie House and Aspiring Enliven Care Centre also received vaccinations. These were the first aged care residential homes to receive the vaccine in Central Otago, following vaccinations in Invercargill which started last Thursday.
The medical centre is also holding a clinic for frontline staff this Saturday 17 April.
Wānaka Medical Centre nurse and quality lead Maureen McNeill and Aspiring Medical Centre clinical nurse manager Lynda Davis said these first clinics sent a positive message that the rollout was well underway in the district as patients had been asking about the vaccine and when it would be here.
Elmslie House Manager Alexa Gutowska said: “The staff and residents of Elmslie are pleased to belong to the first aged care residential facility in Central Otago to receive the COVID 19 vaccination.
“Our residents are of the generation that believes in doing what is best for everyone, and 28 residents received their first vaccination last weekend, along with over 20 staff members. Residents have expressed how challenging the Covid lockdowns were for them, being separated from loved ones – so they welcomed the vaccinations, which they understood would help in preventing future lockdowns.
“As health sector workers, we know that the vaccination rollout has been a logistical challenge, but we have worked closely with medical centre teams and the DHB to ensure the vaccination rollout works as smoothly as possible.”
Residents and staff at Ripponburn Rest Home, Cromwell would be vaccinated on Saturday 24 April, followed by Teviot Valley Rest Home, Roxburgh on Friday 30 April and Maniototo Hospital Rest Home, Ranfurly on Saturday 1 May.
Hamish Brown, Southern DHB Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Incident Controller, said the team was pleased with the progress of the vaccination programme so far.
“The Southern vaccination programme surpassed 10,000 vaccinations earlier this week and to be at a stage where we are rolling out vaccines to more vulnerable groups is a real milestone in this history-making process,” he said.
“Over the coming weeks we will have more rural clinics opening across Central Otago for frontline staff to book into, will be visiting more aged residential care facilities, will be working with our partners in Mental Health and the disability sectors, and reaching older Māori and Pacific people who were cared for by whanau to protect our communities against Covid.”
Read edition 1023 of the Wānaka Sun here.