COVID-19 immunisation programme rolling out in Lakes
19/03/2021 3:51:50 p.m.

Friday 19 March 2021

COVID-19 immunisation programme rolling out in Lakes

The Lakes DHB COVID-19 immunisation rollout has seen over 600 people working in managed isolation facilities in Rotorua and their household contacts get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The launch of the COVID-19 immunisation programme began in Rotorua on Saturday 27 February and the team of nurses and administrators has worked daily, immunising 30 to 50 workers per day. This includes health and hotel workers as well as Police, Defence Force and security staff.

Lakes DHB Chief Operating Officer Alan Wilson says Lakes DHB staff worked extremely hard to get the immunisation programme up and running quickly, to efficiently and safely immunise people working in the MIFs in Rotorua along with their household contacts.

Alan Wilson says the DHB has an operational plan for delivering the COVID 19 immunisations and the prioritisation plan released this week by the Ministry of Health will help progress the rollout. The rollout plan includes four groups;

• Border and managed isolation and quarantine workers and people they live with
• Frontline health workers and people living in high risk settings
• People at higher risk of serious outcomes or illness
• General population.

The protection of Māori whānau and Pacific People has come into sharp focus in the vaccine rollout sequencing announcement. Maori and Pacific providers have been allocated 40,000 vaccines to target immunisations within the communities they service- whānau at risk of picking up the virus in their workplace and our elders who are at most risk of getting seriously ill if they get the virus.

Lakes DHB’s operational team for the programme rollout includes a programme manager, a logistics person, a clinical nurse manager and an administrative lead. They are working together with staff from a range of DHB departments as well as the Medical Officer of Health to ensure the smooth roll out of the programme. Lakes DHB is also working with Māori heath providers and iwi to progress the planning.

The immunisation programme for the Lakes DHB area has a governance group that includes iwi representatives from Te Arawa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

A Rotorua COVID-19 immunisation hub opened in the CBD this week with a karakia to ensure the safe and successful outcome of the programme. Recruitment is progressing for nursing and administrative staff to boost the team numbers, in line with the planned increase in numbers of people to be immunised as Lakes DHB works through the Ministry’s prioritisation list.

Immunisation will shortly begin in Taupō for household contacts of MIF and border workers and frontline workers.

The national COVID-19 vaccination public information campaign kicked off this week with full page advertisements, radio advertising and social media. The focus is to provide reassurance and confidence that the vaccine is safe, effective and free to everyone in New Zealand over the age of 16 years. The second focus is to highlight the rollout plan so everyone can see which of the four groups they fall into as well as some high level timing for when groups begin to be immunised.

At this stage, immunisation for COVID-19 will be by appointment only, with people receiving information about where and how they can get their immunisations as the COVID-19 vaccine plan rolls out.

The Ministry of Health has assured the public that there is enough vaccine for everyone aged 16 years and over to receive both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The Ministry of Health is asking everyone in New Zealand to get vaccinated - it is the best way to protect you, your kaumātua and whānau.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved by our own Medsafe experts. It’s also already been used successfully all around the world by millions of people. The Pfizer vaccine is 95 per cent effective when you receive both doses.

More information about vaccines is on the Unite against COVID website here:

For more information about the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 roll out plan see: