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Officials scramble to fill spots due to slow uptake for first mass vaccination event

Officials scramble to fill spots due to slow uptake for first mass vaccination event

Health officials say less than a quarter of people sent the invitations to New Zealand's first mass Covid-19 vaccination event booked in. 

Officials scramble to fill spots due to slow uptake for first mass vaccination event

Auckland DHBs are scrambling to fill 12,000 spots due to slow uptake for the three-day vaccination event. The first mass vaccination in New Zealand is set to begin on Friday 30th July at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau.

Officials are hoping to vaccinate at least 15,500 people.

The vaccinations were initially opened to students and families of Manukau Institute of Technology, with around 12,500 people invited to book in. However, only 3000 registered for a spot.

Due to the slow uptake, officials had to send invitations to 140,000 people to get the numbers they required.

Alex Pimm, head of the vaccine rollout for Auckland DHBs, said they are trying to figure out why the numbers have been so low.

“I think it is always disappointing when something that you’ve planned for doesn’t get the response that you were hoping for. I think it is an opportunity to learn about how we run these events for New Zealand in the future,” he said.

South Auckland GP Dr Api Talemaitoga told RNZ the organisation of the event was lacking in Māori and Pasifika input, and that the dates and times are not necessarily practical for some families in South Auckland.

“It’s over a weekend. They’ll have to take kids to rugby. There’s only one car in the family, so it’ll be when that is available, so they can’t actually make an appointment because they don’t know when the car will be free, so we need to make it available for people to be able to walk in,” he said.

The vaccination clinic will be running from early Friday to Sunday. Click here for more information.

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