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A vaccination query . . .

Letter

Re: Covid vaccination appointments.

Front page of the paper 17/6/21: If you fall into group 3 please be proactive and make an appointment.

Covid-19 advert page 7 of paper 19/6/21: We will call or send you an email, text or letter to invite you to book.

Am I confused or being confused?

Mark Chapman

Footnote response from Hauora Tairawhiti vaccination programme manager Lissette Hayes:

Thanks for the question, Mark.

The story in The Gisborne Herald was about the vaccination of the most vulnerable people in Tairawhiti communities. People who are over 65, who have an underlying health condition, are pregnant, disabled, or are caring for someone who is disabled are in Group 3. We are vaccinating Group 3 now. In Tairawhiti, people in Group 3 are encouraged to arrange their vaccine appointments by calling the local Vaccination Centre on 0800 675 432 or emailing covidvaccinations@tdh.org.nz. If we don't answer your call immediately, please leave a message. We will get back to you. You must have an appointment to be vaccinated; the Vaccination Centre will not accept walk-ins.

Hauora Tairawhiti is also working with general practices and iwi health providers to identify people who fall into Group 3 and may find it harder to arrange vaccination.

The national advert in The Gisborne Herald on Saturday and this Wednesday is a heads-up about vaccination of the general population who can start booking in to be vaccinated from July 28. It's a big group. People can book in according to their age band — starting on July 28 with people aged 60 and over and then, from August 11, people aged 55 and over.

By July 28, there will be a national online booking system, “Book my Vaccine”, and a new national call centre.

It is important to remember that there is an overlap in the vaccination of groups. It is not just a straight sequence. We have vaccinated a significant portion of Groups 1 and 2 and this will continue while we vaccinate Group 3 over the next couple of months. We will not finish vaccinating Group 3 before we start vaccinating Group 4 in July. Vaccinating this group will continue until everyone who wants a vaccine has received it.

In Tairawhiti we are vaccinating just above the number of people we planned to each week. As of June 22, 9736 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given.