New Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic opens in Birkenhead, Auckland

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But first for border workers, household, MIQ staff and health workers

Supplied Content (Edited)
Auckland, May 10, 2021

Waitemata DHB iwi Partner Ngati Whatua blessing the Clinic (Picture Supplied)

The first Community Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic in Auckland’s Northshore opened at Birkenhead this morning (May 10, 2021), marking another important milestone in the rollout of the programme to protect the public.

Converted from a former warehouse, it is located at the Highbury Shopping Centre at 1 Corner of Highbury Bypass and Birkenhead Avenue and operated by the Waitemata District Health Board (DHB).

Easy location for 1000 per day

The facility will eventually be capable of vaccinating up to 1000 people a day, with 10 specially trained vaccinators working at-a-time to provide first and second doses.

Waitemata DHB Chief Executive Dr Dale Bramley said that the high-profile location would make it easy for the public to receive their vaccinations when they become due.

“As this is the first large vaccination Clinic to open on the North Shore, it will serve a large and diverse population. In particular, it will be of benefit to members of our large and rapidly growing Asian community, which makes up 28 per cent of our district’s population of around 650,000 people,” he said.

Convenient for Asian ethnicities

Dr Bramley said that the concentration of people of Asian ethnicity is even higher on the North Shore where more than half of the people in some suburbs identify as Asian.

“Therefore, this Clinic will be especially important for Asian communities based north of the Harbour Bridge,” he said.

Thanking the DHB’s iwi partner, Ngati Whatua for leading the opening of the Birkenhead Clinic, he said that it will serve people of all ethnicities on the North Shore.

The DHB is following national sequencing guidance to ensure those most likely to be exposed or at-risk to Covid-19 receive their vaccination first.

A view of the Birkenhead Clinic (Picture supplied)

Initial focus groups

The initial focus of the Birkenhead Clinic will be on border workers and household contacts, MIQ staff and health workers, including GPs. Next will be people with underlying health conditions and older Maori and Pacific people before the general public are invited for their vaccinations.

Waitemata DHB Asian Health Service Manager Grace Ryu said that the government has been very clear in saying there was plenty of vaccine for everyone and no one would miss out on their opportunity.

“We know that people generally are keen to receive their vaccinations and that many from our Asian communities will be wanting to know when it will be their turn. We are methodically working through the national priority groups. Please be patient and you will be contacted when we begin vaccinating your group in the coming weeks,” she said.

Visit only with appointment

Ms Ryu said that people should avoid coming to the Birkenhead Clinic without an appointment so that the team can continue to efficiently vaccinate those who have a booking scheduled based on the national sequencing framework.

The DHB will also be working with The Fono to support the opening of a second West Auckland Vaccination Clinic later this week at NorthWest Shopping Centre, located at 1/7 Fred Taylor Drive, Massey, Auckland.

This follows the opening of a Clinic in Henderson last week. The DHB operates the Clinic in partnership with Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust.

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