'Huge success': Over 1000 turn up for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei's overnight vaccine event

By Te Ao - Māori News

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is hailing their first overnight vaccination drive a ‘huge success’.

The iwi says a steady stream of shift workers, families and couples took up the opportunity to get vaccinated at Tāmaki Makaurau's first overnight event on Friday.

More than 1,100 people turned out to the centre in Morrin Road, St Johns, run in partnership with the Auckland DHB, between 8am Friday through until 6.30am today.

Alongside a vaccine dose, local DJ DSYPL was serving sets into the evening, alongside a sausage sizzle and fresh coffee donated by the local Countdown.

“We had a fair few shift workers and mums, dads and tamariki who loved having the option to get vaccinated at night-time,” said site-lead Teara Gillman.

“There were a lot of first-timers who came along in the end, which was fantastic.”

Gillman said it was not until midnight that they ran out of sausages, bread and all the trimmings on the barbeque.

“Thankfully, we had coffee flowing all night long, keeping spirits high for staff and for those who popped in in the early hours to get vaccinated.”

She said peak hour was around 10pm.

“We are still looking at the numbers but we probably had about 500 from 4pm onwards, including the odd few that trickled in every hour or so right up until 5.30am,” she said.

“I think it has shown that extending our hours in Tāmaki Makaurau has offered vaccinations to families, as well as the many workers on shifts, who live and work in our area.

“Everyone who came by said well done and commented on how awesome it was to come at night rather than during the day,” Gillman added.

Other vaccination centres are now offering evening opening hours to help vaccinate workers back at mahi under level 3. This includes the Airport Park and Ride (open until 6pm every day), Mt Wellington (open until 7pm Monday to Friday), Birkenhead (open until 8pm Tuesday and Thursday) and Highbrook (open until 7pm from Wednesday to Friday).

Other events happening today, include a drive-through clinic at Ōtāhuhu Mosque, a Samoan community event in Manurewa, a Church of Latter Day Saints drive-through in Henderson, a Fijian and Rotuman community event at Māngere Centre Park and a Tongan community pop-up in Mt Wellington.