A record 56,843 New Zealanders received a Covid vaccination yesterday, but confusion and anger is also growing as some Aucklanders have their appointments cancelled with no notice.
One woman told the Herald she had been booked in for a Covid vaccination at Birkenhead in the Highbury Shopping Centre this coming Wednesday.
However, she only found out the centre had been temporarily closed after hearing director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield say so during a televised press briefing.
Health teams had not notified her that her appointment had been cancelled.
“Fuming to say the least,” she said.
“We now have to wait a further month for our first vaccine on September 21.”
She said she booked in July and had hoped to be fully vaccinated by the end of September.
“We are staying home, following the rules, and this is how we’re repaid,” she said.
“Bumped off list with no notification.”
She said her neighbour’s vaccination bookings had also been cancelled.
“And he’s older, in his 60s, with underlying health issues.”
The Birkenhead centre was one of five in Auckland that temporarily closed so staff could be redirected to help at overrun Covid-19 testing sites.
Vaccination centres at Birkenhead, Epsom, Highbrook, Pukekohe and Takanini have closed as staff are “urgently diverted to support the surge in testing today after the announcement of further cases and related locations of interest”, the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre said yesterday.
Eight are still operating. The centres that are open are Manurewa, Ōtara, Henderson, Westgate, Mt Wellington, Auckland CBD, Albany and Tāmaki (Glen Innes).
People would be sent a text and email about whether their appointment would need to be rescheduled, the coordination centre said.
Yesterday, Danielle Windfuhr was among those turning up at the ASB Showgrounds vaccination centre only to find it closed, and security staff had no idea why.
It was only when she called Healthline that she learned it would be closed today and she had to reschedule for another couple of weeks from now.
“It’s really annoying that no one knew why or what was happening,” she told the Herald.
It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that yesterday the most Covid vaccination doses had been given in a single day: a total of 56,843.
There was also a record number of Covid tests – 41,464 – completed yesterday.
Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall earlier told The AM Show on Friday morning that vaccination centres were already running at 50 per cent of their capacity on Thursday – the second day of the lockdown.
“We’re aiming in a couple of days to have all of those centres back open and to be functioning at 100 per cent,” she said.
She said while she was hearing of problem with vaccinations, she didn’t think they were widespread because 20,000 people had been vaccinated on Thursday.
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