Clinical psychologist Joel Hoo received his COVID-19 vaccination at a clinic in Barrington Mall because it was conveniently located and offered evening appointments meaning he didn’t have to fit the task into his busy workday.
“For me, the Barrington vaccination clinic was an ideal location; it’s close to where I live, parking is easy, and they offer evening time slots,” says Joel.
“My vaccination experience was really positive. Staff were friendly and approachable, and communicated information with great clarity. And my wait time was only five minutes! I feel very privileged to be living in Aotearoa, knowing that getting the COVID vaccine isn’t an issue.”
Joel is one of almost 8,000 people who have been vaccinated at the mall clinic, or Vaccine Hub, since it opened on 22 April. The initiative is a partnership between Barrington Medical Centre and Life Pharmacy Barrington.
Barrington Medical Centre Director and GP Graham McGeoch says the initiative stemmed from a request from the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) for expressions of interest in vaccinating the community and a desire to make it easier for people to get the immunisation.
“We wanted to help the community and we felt that by organising the Vaccine Hub as a joint venture between the pharmacy and the medical centre, we could provide sufficient scale to be effective,” says Graham.
The Vaccine Hub currently delivers 1,000 vaccinations per week and may expand to 2,000 per week, depending on staffing and CDHB requirements. Pharmacy staff draw the vaccinations, while pharmacists, GPs and nurses from the medical centre, and contracted staff, run the clinic and administer injections.
“It’s quite a big commitment over and above normal ‘business as usual’ to give this many vaccinations – over 200 a day is quite a lot of work.”
Graham says the effort has been worthwhile though, as the feedback from staff and clients has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It has been interesting working at the clinic and meeting a wide range of people – albeit in the short space of time it takes to check patient details and administer the vaccination.
“The COVID-19 Immunisation Register (CIR) works well once you have negotiated the training and initial logon. All the pharmacy staff and contractors are lovely, and between us all we have kept the average wait time down to about four minutes.”
The Vaccine Hub is currently vaccinating people in Group 1, Group 2 and a small group of people in Group 3.
Group 1 includes border and MIQ workers and their household contacts.
Cover image: Clinical psychologist Joel Hoo found Barrington Mall a convenient place to receive his COVID-19 vaccination.
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