Message from Primary Care Leads – COVID Vaccine & Immunisation Programme

Kia Ora Koutou,

The response of primary care to the latest outbreak of Covid-19 in Aotearoa has been amazing. Despite the understandable fatigue that people are feeling 18 months into this pandemic, community-based healthcare workers, both clinicians and non-clinicians, have stepped up once again, and not only continued to provide essential health services, but have exceeded previous records for both vaccinations and swabbing.

In the Covid-19 vaccine immunisation programme (CVIP), we had drawn up contingencies to support on-going vaccination during an outbreak but much of our thinking assumed a reduction in the daily numbers of vaccinations. That has not proved to be the case at all with over 175,000 vaccinations being given since the vaccine programme restarted on 19th August.

Whilst it is only right that your achievements are recognised, it is also important to acknowledge the sacrifices that are made by your whānau and friends who are having to go through lockdown without you. Please let them know that this is appreciated also.

We hope that you are seeing the praise that is being given to primary care by both Ministers and the wider Ministry of Health.

The vaccination programme is only one aspect of our response, but those of us working in CVIP at the Ministry of Health wanted to say a personal thank you. It does feel that we are working well together and that we are truly part of the same team. A response of this scale is challenging to manage, and there are times when you will understandably be frustrated by some of the messaging and requests that come from the centre, but we believe that we are working towards the same goal, and that this common purpose helps us out when times are hard.

We are not sure how long this current outbreak will last, and we do not know what future challenges will be thrown at us but working together we are confident that we will handle whatever comes. It shall all be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

The list of recipients of this email will not be exhaustive so please feel free to forward as appropriate.

Kia Kaha, Kia maia, Mia manawanui
Be Strong, Be Brave, Be Steadfast

Joe Bourne and Andi Shirtcliffe
Primary Care Leads – General practice, Urgent Care, Hauora and Community Pharmacy
COVID-19 Vaccine & Immunisation Programme