Living Waters joins COVID-19 vaccine campaign


29 July 2021


The Living Waters team – Haley Johnson, registered nurse; Kylie Wagstaff, practice manager; Lee Carr, medical receptionist; Dr Praveen Thadigiri; Pom Johnson, nurse practitioner; and enrolled nurse Kathy McInnes.


As COVID-19 vaccinations ramp up to record levels in the Whanganui rohe, another general practice has joined the programme to protect the community against the deadly virus.


Living Waters Medical in Castlecliff has come on board, offering vaccinations Monday to Friday at its purpose-built premises in Rakau Road.


The practice is lead by Dr Praveen Thadigiri who said it was important for his team to support the vaccination effort.


“We have always looked for ways to be engaged with the community – we support a lot of local groups – and this is a way to help our community,” he said.


“It is a big step, but we are always up for a challenge, and it is good to be part of something bigger.”


Living Waters has been based at Rakau Road for three years in a facility whose design has won awards.


Dr Thadigiri said the extensive layout gave them space to comfortably and safely offer the vaccination service, with three vaccinators and two administration staff based there.


While the practice has 2700 registered patients, he said they were offering the vaccine to the whole community.


“All our staff have been trained with the COVID vaccination, so we can cope if the number of bookings goes up.


“It is good to test yourself, and operating this service will be good for our confidence as a practice.


“This is our first week and, so far, it has gone really well.”


Living Waters joining the programme coincides with the opening of vaccinations to Group 4, the wider population, starting with people aged over 60.


That has seen a big uptake in bookings, with more than 850 doses delivered on Monday 26 July, a record for the Whanganui region, and more than 730 on Tuesday 27 July, the second highest daily total.


People in Group 4 aged 60 to 64 years can book their vaccination by going online to or by calling 0800 28 29 26. They can also book by emailing


Louise Allsopp, the Senior Responsible Officer leading the Whanganui rollout, said while the rollout now included Group 4, people in Groups 1, 2 and 3 who had not yet had the jab should still make a booking.


“Once you’re eligible to be vaccinated, you can book at any time -- there’s no cut-off.


“By getting vaccinated people protect themselves and play their part to protect New Zealand which will help us to further open up the country.”


The vaccine rollout is based on age bands for Group 4 as this is easy to understand, and it starts with older people first because they are more at risk if they catch COVID-19.