Hundreds of Covid-19 vaccinations are being delivered daily in Whanganui as the District Health Board and Māori health providers across the region ramp up the vaccination rollout.
At the DHB's new Whanganui city centre facility Te Rito, in the former Warehouse Stationery building, 1854 vaccinations – an average of more than 230 a day – have been given in the eight days since the centre opened on June 2.
Most have been the first dose of the vaccination.
Across the Whanganui, Ruapehu and Rangitīkei districts, a total of 12,725 vaccinations were given by midweek, the District Health Board says.
Whanganui Māori health provider Te Oranganui is into week four of its Covid-19 vaccination rollout, with clinics running across the city during the day, at weekends and in the evening.
Te Oranganui says there's been increasing interest from whānau in getting information about being vaccinated against the Coronavirus, and the uptake of vaccinations is also growing.
The Māori elders council Te Kaunihera Kaumātua o Whanganui were given information first-hand from health professionals a week before leading out the local Māori Covid-19 vaccination strategy by hosting a special vaccination clinic at the Te Taurawhiri building.
Workers who share the building, including Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui, Te Puni Kōkiri and Awa FM staff, were also offered the vaccination.
Kuia, Te Urumanao Melva Gardiner, said it "just made sense" for the kaumātua group to host the clinic and include kaimahi who share the building.
"We're all here trying to do our best to protect our whānau, hapū and future generations," she said.
The vaccination programme continues in the Whanganui, Ruapehu and Rangitīkei districts for Group 3, with a target of 54,000 needing to be vaccinated by the end of the year.
In the Whanganui DHB area, Group 3 comprises:
• those aged 65 or over;
• those who have a relevant underlying health condition;
• Māori and Pasifika aged 50 and over;
• the disabled;
• and whānau who live with any of the people in Group 3.
Appointments continue to be essential to ensure that the trained clinicians have the correct number of vaccines, and it also minimises wait times.
However, phone booking lines have been running hot and clinics are asking people to be patient if lines are busy. The number to book an appointment with Te Oranganui is 0800 202 004. The number for the Whanganui District Health Board clinic is 0800 888 479.