Fri, Oct 1, 2021 10:54 AM

Vaccination clinics pop up in schools

Nelson Marlborough District Health Board staff ahead of their first school based pop up vaccination clinic at Nelson College. Photo: Erin Bradnock.

Erin Bradnock

Nelson College for Boys was the first school in the region to host a vaccination clinic on school grounds on Tuesday.

Schools are the latest venues for pop up Covid-19 vaccination clinics in the region, where all are welcomed in the community to come get their vaccinations.

Nelson College principal Richard Dykes says the college is hosting these clinics to support the government's elimination strategy.

“It’s great we can offer our land and any small step to help the elimination strategy,” he says.

The college hosted two clinics this week each after school hours on Tuesday and Thursday.

Nicola Thompson from Public Health Nursing and a team of nurses were on-site in front of the school entrance just as school finished for their first school visit in the region.

She says students between the ages of 12 to 15 have to have signed parental consent before they can get the vaccine.

“It’s not a legal requirement, but because it’s a school and we wanted a nice inclusive approach with parents.”

She says the school clinics also provide a safe space for students to come asks questions about the process and vaccine.

A few members of the public did approach the vaccination tent with criticism on Tuesday afternoon, questioning the vaccine and the work of District Health Board staff.

Nichola says this was a common occurrence at public clinics and defending vaccinations has become a part of the process.

“We just remind people that we are DHB staff that work for the government and we work in support of their elimination strategy.”

Richard says the school has acted cautiously to ensure students feel they have a choice in whether or not they get the vaccine.

“There’s the freedom of choice, we’ve made sure it’s after school hours with no incentives. It’s easy for anyone who doesn’t want the vaccination to avoid it.”

The school clinics are the latest in a series of pop up clinics that the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board say is an effort to remain “agile and respond to the needs of our communities”.

Below are the scheduled vaccination pop up clinics for the rest of the week

Nelson

Friday 1 October, 10am - 2pm: Lake Rotoiti Community Hall, St Arnaud

Friday 1 October, 5.30pm - 8pm: Bridge Street, Nelson (Bridge St, adjacent to Kirby Lane)

Marlborough

5 October, 9am-3pm: Picton CBD

8 October 6am-9am at Bunnings Blenheim Tradies breakfast.