UCOL students, staff, and their whānau returned to UCOL Whanganui campus yesterday for a quick visit, as they received their first COVID-19 vaccination.
Organised in partnership with the Whanganui District Health Board, the pop up clinic was a chance to boost the vaccination roll out within the Whanganui community. 77 people were vaccinated, with many families bringing in their children aged 12 – 16 now that the vaccination is available to them.
“It’s all about making it easy for people,” says Sylvie Hickton, UCOL’s Health & Safety Manager. “Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways we can keep our community safe, and UCOL wanted to do our bit to help out. We opened the event to our staff and students’ whānau so that people could take twenty minutes, bring everyone down, and help ensure the health of their families and our country.”
The event was originally organised before lockdown was announced, but once permission was given for vaccinations to continue the team worked rapidly to make sure the event could go ahead. “It’s been a really straightfoward day – we’ve had eight DHB staff at the campus and everyone who’s come through has been happy to have the opportunity,” says Coral Hanna, UCOL Student Success Senior Manager (Whanganui).
One staffer getting their vaccination was Becks Vaivela, UCOL Lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Care, along with her step-daughter. “For me, my son is high risk and I would hate to bring something into my home, so getting vaccinated just being responsible. It was fantastic to be able to have the vaccination in a place that is so familiar to you. Thank you to everyone who made it happen.”
Everyone will return for their follow up vaccination in early October. Vaccination clinics are also being organised at UCOL’s Manawatū, Wairarapa, and Horowhenua campuses.