‘A very good turnout’ includes former anti-vaxxers

Several former anti-vaxxers were among those receiving their Covid-19 shots at a mass vaccination event in Lawrence yesterday afternoon.

Staff from Tuapeka Community Health, the sole medical facility in the Central Otago town of about 430 residents, ran the drive-through clinic at the Simpson Park car park for four and a-half hours, with the help of volunteers.

Practice manager Allana Wallis said the event had taken two days to organise and had delivered 200 vaccinations.

“We’ve had no hitches today, and a very good turnout, including a few anti-vaxxers who had changed their mind in light of the current situation.

“We’ll crunch some numbers tonight and may consider running a further event early next week if it makes sense to do so.”

She said the goal had been to vaccinate as many people as possible, as safely as possible, under Level 4 rules.

“We’re a pretty small community so we just muck in and get stuff done. This is the most efficient way to achieve our goals.

“The sooner we’re all vaccinated, the better.”

She said traffic had backed up about 600m to the state highway at the event’s peak, giving a maximum wait of about an hour.

However, people had remained patient.

“I’m pretty proud of our little community today.”

Among those receiving vaccinations was the Murray family, of Waitahuna.

Jo Murray, a teacher at Lawrence Area School, said she and children Jack (19) and Hannah (16) were getting vaccinated to protect themselves, their family and their community.

“The Delta strain certainly seems to be something to be concerned about, and for which we need to take extra precautions.

“I was booked in to have my first vaccination last Wednesday when lockdown began again, so this was a great opportunity to stick to my plan, and get the kids done too.”

Mrs Murray praised the medical centre for organising the event so rapidly.

“It’s been very smooth and quick today. But that’s what Lawrence is like.”

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