Wheels the way to go for vaccine drive

10th Oct 2021

Interesting to note in this PRESS RELEASE from the WDHB that only 55% have been fully vaccinated.


“Coming to a street or park near you” – that’s the message from the Whanganui COVID-19 vaccination team as it ramps up plans for mobile delivery of the vaccine.

And a key part of that delivery will be the newly-wrapped Waka Hauora, the Health Bus, which has been loaned to the vaccination team by the Robert Bartley Foundation.

The foundation acquired the former library bus from Whanganui District Council and fitted it out as a multi-purpose mobile clinic. The late Rob Bartley, a hugely-respected Whanganui businessman and community supporter, was the inspiration for this travelling health facility.

The colourful bus saw action at a pop-up clinic in the Trafalgar Square car park on Thursday, 7 October, and attracted a good number of people to climb inside and get the Pfizer jab.

Last Friday it was hosting a clinic in the SuperValue car park in Abbot Street, Gonville, and from Monday to Thursday this week it is scheduled to be based at Gonville Health.

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Image - The Health Bus at SuperValue in Gonville on Friday.

The Health Bus is one element of the push to use mobile facilities and pop-ups to take the vaccination to the people.

The Red Cross has lent a truck, and Whanganui Civil Defence has loaned the use of its trailer.

“We are most grateful for this support for the vaccination rollout which is ramping up toward Super Saturday on 16 October,” says senior responsible officer Louise Allsopp.

“Our thanks to the Robert Bartley Foundation, Red Cross and Civil Defence who are helping us get out to hard-to-reach areas and small communities.

“With the school holidays, more people have been out and about and our pop-up clinics have proved successful.

“As well as offering the vaccine, our staff are always happy to discuss issues with people and we welcome anyone to pop in and talk about any concerns they may have.”

Allsopp also said she was keen to hear from people who would like the bus to visit their locality. “If anyone has any ideas of where the bus should go, please email us at covid19@wdhb.org.nz or call 0800 888 479.”

The team also wants to hear from businesses with workforces of 30 or more who would like a vaccination clinic at their workplace. This can be arranged using the same email or phone number.

As of Monday 11 October, 73,335 doses had been delivered in the Whanganui rohe, with 55 per cent of eligible population fully vaccinated and 76 per cent having had at least one dose.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, safe and effective, and is available for everyone in New Zealand aged 12 years and above.

To book an appointment, people should call 0800 28 29 26 or going online to BookMyVaccine.

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Image - Clinical nurse manager Kanta Sharma and vaccinator Deb Hickford outside the Health Bus at Trafalgar Square.