High demand has seen walk-ins cancelled at two Auckland Covid-19 vaccination centres from today.
According to the Auckland DHB, the sites at Mt Wellington and Highbrook have seen "high demand for walk-in vaccinations since they began trialling the model from the middle of last week".
The DHB says both sites have been reaching capacity and there are "increasing concerns about traffic flow and lengthy queues".
With this in mind, the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre, which is managing the vaccination rollout on behalf of the northern region DHBs, has decided to halt the trial.
“Walk-in demand has been high at these sites and that’s not a bad problem to have. But we want people to have the best experience possible so we’re going to take a moment to reflect on the last week and assess what changes may need to be made before allowing walk-ins back at those sites,” said Matt Hannant, the centre's vaccination programme lead.
“We acknowledge that there have been some issues around queues and traffic congestion at these sites and we do apologise to anyone who has had issues being vaccinated over the last week.
“This is the most significant logistical exercise ever undertaken by the health sector in New Zealand and we’re continuing to take learnings from our operations every day. We want this to be an easy process for people and our teams are working incredibly hard to try to make this happen.”
Highbrook and Mt Wellington will continue to take booked appointments..
Auckland DHB says that all other community vaccination centres across metro Auckland — Henderson, Birkenhead, Otara, Manurewa, CBD and Westgate, which opened today — will continue to prioritise booked appointments as normal.
Changes to the walk-in policy will take effect from 8am tomorrow.
The DHB says that people with booked appointments should still turn up as normal, and those who are unsure should call the northern region vaccination helpline on 0800 28 29 26.
As of today, more than 268,000 people have already received a first dose of the vaccine, and more than 120,000 people have received a second dose.