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Call for people to get their booster vaccination in Southern

Issue date:

People who are eligible for their four-month booster dose should get it now, before we have Omicron in our community. 

“It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection against COVID-19, so the time to act is now. Getting the booster vaccination is our best defence against Omicron, it protects people against serious illness and decreases the need for hospitalisation and ICU care," says Southern DHB’s Public Officer for Health, Susan Jack. 

“It is incredibly encouraging to see such strong demand for booster doses across the Southern district – approximately 65% of people who are currently eligible have received their four-month booster. However, we also know that there are a large number of people who have not yet taken up the opportunity,” says Southern DHB Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Programme Lead Karl Metzler says. 

“It is more important than ever that we all act now to protect what we love by getting boosted. As a community we worked really hard to achieve a double vaccination of above 90% before Christmas, and together, we can do it again.” 

Providers are adding additional capacity across the district, and details of clinics with significantly increased vaccinating hours this week can be found at here.

Key examples include: 

  • Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group is leading a Covid-19 vaccination drive thru in Oamaru this Thursday 27 January between 11am – 7pm, located at Centennial Park, Oamaru. Bookings are not required for this event, and 5–11-year-old vaccinations will also be available.  
  • Te Kaika on Victoria Road, Dunedin (next to the Ice Rink) is available for bookings, walk ins and drive thru vaccinations for 5-11 year olds and 12+. They are open 7 days a week, 12 noon to 7pm until further notice.
  • The Meridian Mass Vaccination Centre in the Meridian Mall is available for booster walk ins from 8.30am to 6pm Thursday this week and have been delivering this all week. They return to normal hours next week.  

The clinic is also open this Friday 28 January 9.30am to 5pm and an additional clinic is open on Saturday 29 January, 9.30am to 4pm.  
Vaccinations for 5–11-year-olds are also available at these times, please book ahead for this age group. 

  • In Invercargill, Awarua Whānau Services is operating a drive thru clinic seven days a week from 11am to 6pm at the Newfield Tavern Carpark, Regent St, Invercargill.  
    Five- to 11-year-old vaccinations are available at this site between Thursday 3 February, and Saturday 5 January only, from 11am to 5pm. Bookings are not required. 

It is encouraging that there has been strong demand for booster doses across the Southern District. Where demand outstrips available capacity in an area the Southern Covid-19 Vaccination Programme team works with local providers to increase capacity where it is possible and safe to do so. Continued extended hours will be based on demand and reassessed regularly.  

Pop-up clinics will be provided on an as needed basis, particularly in areas where local providers are unable to meet the local demand. The Southern Covid-19 Programme team will ensure that there is adequate supply to meet demand across both 5–11-year-old and 12 year+ vaccinations. Plans are in place to actively address capacity in Clutha, Waitaki and Southland. 

People are encouraged to travel to their nearest vaccination clinic to receive their booster or 5–11-year-old vaccinations, rather than waiting for a pop up clinic to be announced.  

To date, 84,914 Southerners have received their booster out of a possible 135,326 who are currently due. Please be kind and patient while we work hard to deliver vaccinations across the district 

While walk ins are available at many sites but people are encouraged to book online at BookMyVaccine or by calling 0800 28 29 26 to avoid queues at peak times. First and second doses are still available at all vaccination sites. 

The best way you can protect yourself, your whānau, and your community is by getting vaccinated, getting your booster shot if you are eligible and following public health guidelines: wear your mask, wash your hands, get tested if you are sick and stay home until you receive a negative test result.  

With the move to the Red setting in the traffic light system, and with Omicron already present in some communities around New Zealand, it is more important than ever that you and your whānau have a plan if you or someone you care for gets sick, you need to isolate, or you have to go into hospital.  

Find out how you can prepare here.

Media enquiries: SDHB Communications,