Student leader reflects on 'full circle' to reach mass vaccination event

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) student council president Micah Sili has this morning reflected on the "full circle" it's taken to get to Auckland's first mass Covid-19 vaccination event.

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Micah Sili says last time she was on Breakfast she spoke out Covid-19 in the community, now it's a different story. Source: Breakfast

The event, which is being held at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, is a collaboration between MIT, Auckland District Health Board and the Ministry of Health.

Between today and Sunday, about 16,500 people have slots booked to get a dose of the Pfizer jab.

Sili this morning told Breakfast how last time she was on the show she spoke about Covid-19 in the community, but now it's a different story.

"There's definitely a great sense of anticipation and excitement, this is the first event of it's kind," Sili said.

"Our students are actually really happy to be part of this opportunity and what we're more excited about is we've actually come a full circle haven't we, because the first time I spoke with you we had a Covid case in our community and now we are actually one of the first people to come and be part of this mass vaccination that we're doing here in South Auckland."

Sili, who is getting her injection on Saturday, said she was "really proud" to be a part of the event.

Rows where people will be get a Covid-19 jab in New Zealand's first mass vaccine event. Source: 1 NEWS

Northern Region Health Co-ordination Centre vaccination programme lead Matt Hannant, also on Breakfast, said they were aiming for one jab every 90 seconds to vaccinate thousands in the community.

"We've been thrilled with the way this community has responded to this event," he said.

"It was really important that we started here and that we made sure that we've got the services and the access for this community."

The South Auckland community has a lot of Māori and Pacific people, as well as a lot of young people, and they are located near the gateway to the rest of the world making them more vulnerable to Covid-19, as proven with several outbreaks in the past year and a half.

"We have really been focussed on the South Auckland community because of the outbreaks that we've seen in the past here, so this is really important and we're looking forward to serving the community over the next few days," Hannant said.

So how will the large-scale event work?

Hannant said people would be brought into the event centre via shuttle buses from MIT. There will be 50 people to a bus, which will run throughout the day.

People will then check in and be taken to the vaccination area.

"Inside there's these long rows and the vaccinators will be moving up and down those rows so the people don't move, they go to their seat, they wait there, they get vaccinated - we'll be vaccinating one person every sort of 90 seconds - and then they wait there for their 20 minute observation period," Hannant said.

Trained health professionals are on site to monitor people.

After the 20 minute period, people head back on the shuttle buses.

"The whole thing's going to be nice and quick and people can get on with their day."

Source: Breakfast