COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATES
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATES
Welcome to Issue #16 of the COVID-19 Vaccine Programme Update.
The response of primary care to the latest outbreak of Covid-19 in Aotearoa has been amazing. Despite the understandable fatigue that people are feeling 18 months into this pandemic, community-based healthcare workers, both clinicians and non-clinicians, have stepped up once again, and not only continued to provide essential health services, but have exceeded previous records for both vaccinations and swabbing.
Thank you for your dedication to the programme, which has enabled us to continue to deliver the rollout in alert level 4.
Click here to read the full update
Kia ora koutou
It's been quite a week. We have had the advantage for some time of keeping the Delta variant out of the community while our vaccination programme ramped up, and now we are operating in a different environment. Everyone is putting in remarkable efforts to keep the COVID-19 vaccination rollout going, and we recognise and appreciate the focus to keep the momentum growing.
The programme continues to evolve. Just yesterday the Prime Minister announced that 12-15 year olds are eligible for the vaccine. And next month we enter a new phase of our COVID-19 vaccination rollout when bookings will be open for everyone eligible in New Zealand to receive their vaccine. And we are ready for it.
Click here to read the full IMAC newsletter - August 2021
Updated 19th August 2021
Please click here for COVID-19 vaccination guidelines for 12-15yrs
Important information for all Kaupapa Māori and Pacific providers, General Practice, Community Pharmacy and Urgent Care teams
Wednesday 18 August 2021
Please share this information with your providers and teams.
Thank you again for the work you have been doing to keep our communities safe and prevent Covid spreading across Aoteroa.
As you all know New Zealand moved in to Alert Level Four lockdown overnight for three days, while Auckland and Coromandel will remain in Level 4 lockdown for seven days.
This changed our vaccination programme immediately as we moved to plan what was required for working under Alert Level 4.
As per the prime minister’s 1pm announcement today vaccinations can resume tomorrow.
To support you with operating a vaccination centre at Alert Level 4 attached in this email is the Ministry of Health’s Guidance for Alert Level changes at Vaccination sites. Please familiarise yourselves with this document as you prepare to continue with vaccination under Level 4 and any other alert levels.
This guide will help you with your assessment on how you will be able to vaccinate at Level 4. e.g. Social distancing will impact on your capacity on how many people that you can vaccinate.
Below are notes that may also help. Please note these are also subject to change and we will let you know as soon as we do.
At this level the guidance is: https://covid19.govt.nz/business-and-money/businesses/doing-business-at-alert-level-4/#keeping-employees-and-customers-safe
Ordering PPE stock: Ministry of Health have created a centralised process for the supply of PPE to community health providers.
Refer to https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-central-supply
Under this process, MoH will supply community health providers directly from the central reserves. An account will need to be setup where orders can be placed directly via a website. I have copied in COVID.HealthSupplyChain@health.govt.nz who can assist you setting with up the account.
If you require PPE urgently for next 1-2 days until your MoH order arrives, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Providers can pick up urgent orders from our Distribution centre at Waikato Hospital campus.
All sites require health consumers and staff to maintain physical distancing. This may mean you need to reduce the capacity in your sites by spacing out seating and stations. Should you need to decrease your capacity in order to meet these distancing requirements we can assist and support the reduction of bookings as outline below.
A reminder that it is important to ask the following pre-screening questions before someone enters your vaccination site:
Should you need us to support you to reduce the number of bookings to enable you to enact physical distancing on your site, we are able to do this through our DHB contact centre, Whakarongorau, and/or via text/email/mail channels. Let us know what you need support to do and we can arrange for this on your behalf. Please email email@example.com
Waikato DHB has the ability to send out bulk texts. As mentioned above, we can, on your behalf send out text messages to advise should people need to change their bookings. Please let us know if you have any requirements around this.
Supporting anxious health consumers
Changing COVID alert levels can increase anxiety for some people, which may be compounded by nervousness around getting vaccinated in general. You all already have significant expertise and do an amazing job of supporting people through the vaccination journey at your sites and I am confident you will have no issues supporting those with heightened anxiety at this time. Along with specific text messages or emails above, we are also happy to distribute extra collateral out to your sites if required, such as the “be kind” posters to proactively try to manage any anti-social behaviour that may happen as a result of increased tension.
Managing increased queries around vaccination
You may see an increase in queries and interest in the vaccine due to the increased spotlight on the virus. There are a number of useful resources on the Ministry and Karawhiua websites here: https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines/get-the-facts-about-covid-19-vaccination/nz-vaccine-facts/ and https://karawhiua.nz/
Should you require additional support in this space please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Single source of truth
As we have all experienced, things develop rapidly in this environment and it is easy for mis-information to leak through. Please be reassured that we will continue to to keep you posted as soon as we have confirmed information from the Ministry of Health. We have implemented our CIMS (critical incident management structure) and therefore will be able to provide you regular updates. These updates will come through MOH, to our CIMS, and then onto you via myself or one of the other members of the programme leadership group. We will use email to send these updates regularly.
For regular updates about COVID-19 in the Waikato visit our Waikato DHB website and facebook page
Ngā mihi nui
National Immunisation Schedule:
Keep on vaccinating during Level 4
With New Zealand entering Level 4 lock down, we want to remind everyone about the importance of continuing with all Schedule vaccinations which are permitted to continue over this period.
This is different from COVID-19 vaccination clinics which carry greater risk for spreading COVID-19 as places where many people congregate. COVID-19 vaccinations have been paused for up to 48 hours to ensure these clinics are well prepared with public health protection measures in place to prevent any spread.
General Practices and Outreach services across the country should still be functioning during Alert Level 4 to deliver essential health services and this includes National Immunisation Schedule vaccinations. There was an unfortunate drop-off in immunisation uptake last year with the lock down and we are very keen to avoid this again.
You will of course be changing the way that you manage patient’s access to the clinic, as you have done before.
This will include:
Keep up the good work everyone!