Te Awamutu vaccination site goes mobile

Taking vaccinations to where they are most needed is the driver behind Waikato DHB’s Te Awamutu community vaccination clinic transitioning from a fixed, to a mobile service, and the team has a parting gift for local children.

Site supervisor, Alene Vincent, said while the old Bunnings building at the intersection of Arawata St and Scout Lane had served the 12-strong team well, it was time for a change.

“Our last day operating on this site is Wednesday 18 May and we switch to a mobile vaccination service going out to the community from next Thursday.”

This transition mirrors one in Morrinsville where the team based at the Knox Presbyterian Church in Canada St is also moving to a mobile vaccination service from Tuesday 17 May.

“The Te Awamutu team will be visiting local halls, sports clubs and other sites to provide MMR (mumps, measles and rubella), COVID-19 and flu vaccinations,” said Alene.

One of the most endearing memories team members had shared about working at the site was the camaraderie built up by the staff who came from various workgroups across the Waikato DHB.

“We’ve become a really close-knit team.

“Another thing that sticks in my mind was the genuine gratitude shared by our consumers when they came in – for keeping them and their families safe.”

But perhaps the most rewarding thing many of the tight knit Te Awamutu team feel proud about is art work on display to keep the youngest visitors entertained.

“We’ve had a waka, aeroplanes, picnic scenes, a marae and castle built, all under the artistic direction of our Allied Security team member, Christina Foley.”

Showing off her artistic flair, Christina explained the idea behind the display and large chalk mural was how best to put the youngest visitors at ease.

“There was a whanau ora day planned two months ago targeted at vaccinating under 12s so we started working on things we thought would relax the kids.

“In the end the day didn’t go ahead but our art work did. The variety of displays proved to be a really good distraction while the tamariki were getting their vaccinations- it’s been really well received.”

Alene said the project was a real recycling success with the cardboard materials coming from local businesses.

“And with our transition to a mobile service our art work is going to new homes, the waka and marae are going to a Kohanga Reo in Kihikihi while the castle and other items are going to a local early childhood education centre.”

For information on testing and vaccination options in your area, go to the Waikato DHB Facebook page, or, the Waikato DHB website

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