Covid-19 Vaccinations For 'Group 3'

28th May 2021

Protection from COVID-19 will get a boost next week [week commencing 31st May] with the opening of a large vaccination facility in Whanganui city centre.

The facility opens as the vaccination programme steps up to include people in Group 3.

Group 3 comprises those aged 65 or over; those with relevant underlying health conditions; Māori and Pasifika aged 50 and over; and the disabled. This is several thousand members of our community.

Dr Garry getting vaccine.jpg

Dr Garry Yan gets his vaccination from nurse Emma Coker at Whanganui Hospital.

Those who are in this group are invited to phone 0800 888 479 or email to make an appointment.

Alternatively, people can call 0800 202 004 if they prefer to be vaccinated by Te Oranganui who are also running vaccination clinics for Group 3.

The vaccination clinics are NOT a walk-in service, and appointments need to be booked by phone or email.

Also, some people will continue to be contacted by letter, email or text message, encouraging them to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already made an appointment..

Relevant underlying health conditions for Group 3 include:

  • Those who have a health condition that means they are eligible for a free flu vaccine.
  • Those who have been diagnosed with severe mental illness (which includes schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder), and adults currently accessing secondary and tertiary mental health and addiction services.
  • Those who have poorly controlled or severe hypertension/high blood pressure (generally defined as requiring two or more medications for control or, not currently under adequate control).
  • Those who are severely overweight (defined as a BMI ≥40).

The vaccine rollout in the Whanganui rohe (Whanganui, Rangitikei and south Ruapehu) began on 31 March, and so far 8296 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been delivered at various sites, including Whanganui Hospital, aged residential care facilities and mobile outreach clinics.

VAX launch 3.jpg

Louise Allsopp, COVID-19 lead executive, said the progress of the rollout varied between regions with each DHB taking an approach that worked best for its communities.

“Our vaccine rollout is a massive undertaking. Group 3 is a large group so we will be flexible in how we work through this group, with some people prioritised ahead of others.

“There will be enough vaccine for everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over, and we appreciate people’s patience as we work to protect our community.”

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is being implemented by a leadership team made up of Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB), Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN), Hauora ā Iwi, the National Hauora Coalition, Māori Health Outcomes Advisory Group (MHOAG) and Māori health services.

The aim is to give two doses of the Pfizer vaccine (with at least a three-week gap between the first and second doses) to more than 54,000 people in the Whanganui region before the end of the year.

The Pfizer vaccine, which has been through robust tests before being approved by MedSafe, is safe, efficient – and free.