Hitting back at Covid 

The Covid vaccine roll out has reached Waipā this week as the huge task to vaccinate the community ramped up.

The Cambridge Community Marae – Nga Hau E Wha – is the latest community COVID-19 vaccination centre to open in the Waikato, and the first vaccinations were administered there just after noon yesterday.

It has been a tough time for the DHB, which is still recovering from a cyber attack and was ranked lowly in the success of its vaccination roll out this week.

But the opening of two centres in addition to other venues providing the vaccine can add 500 people a day in Waipā to the list of those getting protection.

The former Bunnings building in Te Awamutu will be converted into a community vaccination centre to start operating later this month.

The DHB expects to deliver up to 30,000 vaccinations a week throughout the region at full capacity.

To date it has overseen almost 100,000 vaccinations.

Maree Munro, Waikato DHB COVID-19 vaccine programme lead, said at full capacity the Leamington site will vaccinate around 250 people a day. The centre is operating by appointment.

At full capacity the Bunnings site in Te Awamutu will also vaccinate up to 250 a day. Opening hours at the appointment only centre is likely to be 9am to 4pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays. It is expected about 25 staff will be based there.

Within the greater Waikato there are community vaccination centres in Hamilton, Te Kuiti, Taumarunui, Thames and Morrinsville. Additional centres will be established in Matamata and Tokoroa and are expected to be open through to December.

People in Group 3, which includes people aged 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions, people with disabilities, and pregnant women, are now receiving their invitations to book vaccination appointments via the national Book My Vaccine system or phone 0800 28 29 26.

Group 4 (the general population) vaccinations will be done in age bands, starting with people aged over 60 years.

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