The Waikato District Health Board and Ryman Healthcare have teamed up to speed up the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region.
The DHB is the first in the country to take up Ryman’s offer to partner on delivery of the vaccine programme utilising an accredited in-house vaccination team.
Hilda Ross Retirement Village in Hamilton is the first Ryman village to run its own vaccine clinic, which started yesterday (Thursday April 29).
This allows the DHB to free up resources for other places for the vaccine rollout.
The DHB will have one staff member on site to oversee the cold-chain process, but a vaccine team of Ryman’s registered nurses has been specially trained to get on with the job.
Cheyne Chalmers, Chief Operations Officer, said collaboration meant a quicker rollout and better use of resources for the DHB.
“We’re delighted that the Waikato DHB has taken up our offer and is happy to work in such a collaborative way. Our registered nurses are fully trained and know all the residents, so they will be dealing with familiar faces.
“I think there’s a huge benefit in this for both sides – and we hope we can create similar partnerships with other DHBs to do the same.’’
Former nurse and Hilda Ross resident Helen Fahey after receiving her Covid vaccination (above) and standing with Regional Operations Manager Arthur Keane and Operations Project Clinical Manager Janine Snape as a 'Covid Angel'.
Waikato DHB programme lead for the vaccination rollout for the Waikato, Maree Munro, says the partnership is a great example of working together to meet a mutual goal.
She says it also allows Ryman to deliver the vaccine to staff and residents in a way which suits them best.
"Having Ryman's experienced team do the important job of vaccinating their residents will also ensure they have a good experience and be among familiar faces," she says.
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is stored at -70 deg Celsius so requires careful cold-chain management.
Ryman residents around New Zealand have begun getting their vaccinations this week, and close to 500 Ryman team members are already vaccinated.
Ryman has 36 villages in New Zealand from Whangarei to Invercargill and is the country’s largest retirement village operator. Ryman has five villages in Victoria where the vaccine rollout is also under way.