Dear residents and families,
On 18th March 2021, we were advised by our industry association (New Zealand Aged Care Association) that the Ministry of Health (MoH) was prioritizing the aged care sector under group two to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and that it should take precedence over the influenza immunisation programme, as influenza was seen a less threat with the boarders closed.
We had started the internal processes to be ready and had passed on all the requested Covid-19 information and numbers to Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB), as we were led to believe that Auckland, especially the South Auckland Counties Manukau region, was in line to receive the first doses in early April.
Despite our best efforts to obtain the vaccination roll-out programme from CMDHB and the MoH this has not been forthcoming due the logistical issues they are facing getting the vaccination programme started.
I have advised CMDHB that we are disappointed with the delay and the potential impact it may have on our vulnerable residents and staff.
With the opening of the boarders with Australia on 19th April 2021, we now see the threat has increased for flu like viruses circulating.
As the influenza vaccine cannot be administered until at least 14 days after the second dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, we feel that the influenza vaccine needs to be given first.
If we wait until CMDHB/MoH start the vaccine programme of the Covid-19 vaccine in late April, the influenza vaccine may be delayed until June.
This is totally unacceptable as we need to protect our residents and staff as soon as possible.
Therefore, we will immediately start the roll out of the influenza vaccine from Wednesday 14th April 2021, with our aim to have all residents and staff vaccinated by Friday 23rd April 2021.
This will allow the Covid-19 vaccination programme to start after 3rd May 2021.
My clinical team will be contacting you to obtain consent to allow us to administer this as soon as possible.
Our priority will always be the health and welfare of our residents and staff and I trust you will agree with the actions we are taking.
Please feel free to contact the clinical team or myself if you should have any queries or concerns.
OWNER / CEO