A Te Puke kiwifruit packhouse worker surprised staff at a Covid-19 drive-through vaccination clinic by rolling up for his jab in a forklift.
Poutiri Trust general manager Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford said the vaccinating team were unfazed by the unique mode of transport and safely administered the vaccine to the Apata Group staff on September 1.
"We think we might have witnessed a first in Aotearoa – a fork-through Covid-19 vaccination," Maxwell-Crawford said.
"The photo gave us all a chuckle, but it also speaks to the commitment of Kiwis to get vaccinated to protect their whānau," Bay of Plenty District Health Board Covid-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson said.
The board said Poutiri Trust swiftly adjusted its vaccination operations under Covid-19 alert level 4 and began operating the physically distanced drive-through on August 20.
The vaccinating team has been contacting whānau and essential service organisations to offer the Covid-19 vaccine.
"We're proudly offering the vaccine to our community; our team administered over 700 doses last week," Maxwell-Crawford said.
Apata Group human resources manager, Sheryl Thocolich, said it supported the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
"Access to vaccinations is of importance for our essential workforce operating at level 4. During our drive through vaccinations performed by the Poutiri team, any vehicle was accepted, even a forklift.
"Apata Group's staff appreciated the convenience, efficiency and friendliness of the Poutiri team," Thocolich said.
In collaboration with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Maketu Health & Social Services and the Bay of Plenty DHB, Poutiri Trust vaccinating teams also administered the Covid-19 vaccine to Maketū residents last week.
Poutiri Trust was also offering the vaccine to the Bay of Plenty's Pasifika community in collaboration with the Pacific Island Community (Tauranga) Trust.
Poutiri Trust has been vaccinating whānau in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty since June 1, 2021, with the support of the DHB. The Bay of Plenty DHB said it was partnering with Māori health providers such as Poutiri Trust to deliver an equitable Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
"We're supporting Poutiri Trust and other iwi and Māori health providers to offer the vaccine to their communities. We're focused on ensuring everyone in Te Moana ā Toi is offered the vaccine," Richardson said.
"Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves, our whānau and our community."
The charitable trust is a Māori health provider that offers services in the Te Puke area.
Whānau can book their Covid-19 vaccination through Poutiri Trust by visiting www.poutiriwellness.org or calling 0800 573 0091.
More than 180,000 Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in the Bay of Plenty district, as of September 8.
- SUPPLIED CONTENT