Another series of drive-through COVID-19 vaccination events are taking place in the district this weekend, with eligible people invited for the first and second doses aged five and older, and boosters.

Drive-in events are taking place at Tauranga Racecourse this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall car park this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Kawerau Ron Hardie Leisure Center this Sunday from 10 a.m. a.m. to 3 p.m. at 15h.

“Every dose counts in strengthening our collective armor in the battle against Omicron,” says Brent Gilbert-De Rios, Bay of Plenty District Health Board Senior Manager – COVID-19 Programme.

The Department of Health reports that there is growing evidence that three doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine protect against infection and symptomatic infection for Omicron.

The boosters reduce the chance of getting very sick from Omicron or requiring hospitalization, and help reduce the spread to whānau and the community, says Gilbert-De Rios.

“While two shots was great protection against Delta, we need to be boosted for Omicron,” says Gilbert-De Rios.

The district health board reports that more than 105,000 people have received their booster, but more than 55,000, or about 35%, remain eligible.

“If you are 18 or older and had your second injection at least three months ago, come and get boosted. And bring your tamariki to give them the best protection against COVID-19 as well,” says Gilbert-De Rios.

The Ministry of Health recommends vaccinating children aged five and over against COVID-19 to keep them safe and help protect whānau and communities from the virus.

Over half a million COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in the Bay of Plenty, including first, second, third primary doses (for severely immunocompromised people), booster and pediatric doses (for children aged 5 to 11).

To date, the vaccine has been administered in the district for 340 days by 547 vaccinators at 73 vaccination sites. The youngest person to receive the vaccine was five years old and the oldest was 106 years old.

The Tauranga Central Bay of Plenty District Health Board COVID-19 Community Vaccination Center at 87 First Avenue will be closed this weekend to allow staff to support the Tauranga drive-in event. Similarly, community vaccination Whakatāne COVID-19

The centre, at 11 Quay Street, will also be closed on Saturday to support the Whakatāne drive-in event.

Tauranga COVID-19 vaccination drive-in

Tauranga Racecourse, Cameron Road

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 February, 10am-3pm

Whakatāne COVID-19 Driving Vaccination

Whakatāne War Memorial Parking Lot, Short Street

Saturday February 26, 10am-3pm

Kawerau COVID-19 vaccination drive-in

Ron Hardie Recreation Center, Onslow Street

Sunday February 27, 10am-3pm

Kawerau’s vaccinations will take place at the Ron Hardie Recreation Center on Onslow Street. Photo: supplied.

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