Invercargill Civic Theatre has become home to the South’s new Covid-19 vaccination centre, with six rooms set up to cater for more than 360 people per day.
The rollout actually began last week at Well South but it was not ideal because the team involved had to pack up each day, so the more permanent base will make life much easier.
It was also about accessibility for people, with frontline health care workers among the first receiving their jabs.
More than 80,000 Southlanders will eventually be immunised against Covid-19 with another centre being set up in Gore.
Vaccine programme leader Southern region, Karl Metzger said they were still working out the booking system and admitted the existing process was “quite inelegant.”
He said it will have to be a well-organised systematic process “or there will be chaos really.”
They expected to have it sorted by the end of the week.
Once the Covid-19 vaccine arrives the team has 45 days to use each batch and after completing all the frontline health workers they will be focusing the campaign on the older population with long-term health problems.
“It’s a very labour-intensive process at the moment, at this level of detail with it,” he said.
Immunisation co-ordinator Susanne Knowler said it was a privilege to be part of this campaign “and knowing you are making an impact not just on the local community but part of the whole national community to protect against this virus.”
Site manager Lyn Sanderson said the Civic Centre was a safe place that people could come and take about their fears, and everybody was just so grateful.
“We’ve had people walking off the street saying, ‘I’m diabetic. give it to me now,’ and I’m sure we’ll have more of that.”