Vaccination team visits Arahunga School


Azriel Anderson and dad Andre are happy to have had their COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Whanganui region’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has now pushed into Group 3 of the population, with more than 16,000 doses delivered.


Group 3 covers people aged 65 and over; Maori and Pasifika aged 50 and over; people with underlying health conditions; and those with a disability.


One of the many places visited by the vaccination team was Arahunga Specialist School in Gonville, where students, teachers and parents lined up for their jabs last Friday, 18 June.


“We had a very good response, with 34 vaccinations completed,” says Bruce Jones, Whanganui District Health Board’s school-based immunisation coordinator.


Among those getting vaccinated were Andre Anderson and his 19-year-old son Azriel, and both said the process had been simple and easy.


The Whanganui community’s response to the COVID-19 vaccine has been positive and pleasing, says the executive leading the rollout.


“It seems that people are reassured that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective, and that is great news as we work to protect the Whanganui region from the virus with the biggest vaccination programme we have ever seen,” says Louise Allsopp, senior responsible officer for the rollout.


Group 3 includes a substantial section of the community -- approximately 20,000 people – and they are now being booked in for dates in July and August.


“There will be enough vaccine for everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over, and we appreciate people’s patience as we schedule their vaccinations.”


Those people who fall in the Group 3 category can book their vaccination appointment by phoning 0800 888 479 or by emailing


Whanganui DHB advises that those who do not get through by phone should leave a message – name, date of birth and contact number – and they will be called back within a week.


It is only necessary to call once and leave one message, and they will be called back.


The vaccination clinics are NOT a walk-in service, and appointments need to be booked by phone or email.