A drive through vaccination centre will open today in Auckland to make up for appointments pushed out due to the alert level 4 lockdown.

Health workers administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to a couple in a car at a drive-thru vaccination event for residents 65 and older at Dewey O. Boster Park and Sports Complex on January 7, 2021 in Deltona, Florida. US health workers prepare to vaccinate a motorist at a drive through event in Deltona, Florida earlier this year. Photo: AFP


The centre, set up at the park and ride site at Auckland Airport, will be open for a week.

Matt Hannant from the Northern Region Health Co-ordination Centre said the spots were by invitation only and would prioritise those who missed their appointment as well as including some essential workers.

“You’re going to drive into the site, a few screening questions, get you registered and then there’s a series of vaccination tents in the carpark – pop up to one of those, quick consent, get your vaccination done, then into the observation area.

“If you’re feeling unwell, honk the horn or flash the lights or shout out the window… There’s lots of clinicians around. They’ll come and help you, otherwise, off you go after 15 minutes and then back with your day.”

It was expected 1000 people would be vaccinated today, with about 2000 per day for the rest of the week, so as many as 13,000 people could be vaccinated by week’s end.

“We’ve always had this plan in our back pocket. With the lockdown our sites have slightly reduced capacity and we’ve had to divert some staff to testing and to contact tracing.

“This is just a really good way of us doing a lot of volume and we have sites available to us that aren’t normally available. So we’ve got this whole airport facility through the lockdown period.”

He said there was the potential for the site to remain set up for longer.

“We’re just focusing on that seven-day period to start with and we’ll wait and see what announcements come from the government.

“But if the model works and we can find other locations, then it’s certainly something that we would look to adopt in the future, particularly if the community really takes to it.”

People need to come with at least one other person and would receive their vaccination while seated in the car, into the arm closest to the car door.

People could not come through in trucks, motorbikes or on foot.

Hannant said people who could not come in a car or with another person would be better to get their vaccination elsewhere.

He said people who were feeling unwell, had been to a location of interest or were waiting on a test result should not attend.

Yesterday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that a record 56,843 vaccinations had been delivered around the country on Friday.