New Zealand’s first mass vaccination event protecting our community

Date: 14 July 2021

Thousands will be vaccinated at the country’s first mass vaccination event later this month as part of protecting one of our most at-risk communities from COVID-19.

MIT Mass Vaccination will take place over three days – July 30, July 31 and August 1 – at Vodafone Events Centre, Manukau and is open to MIT staff, students and their whānau.

“Students of MIT and their families have been given a great opportunity to get vaccinated,” says MIT Student Council president Micah Sili.

Mass vaccination events have been used successfully overseas to get large groups of people of all ages (in the case of the Pfizer vaccine 16 years and over) vaccinated efficiently and safely in a short period of time at a single venue.

They will be a feature of the rollout later in 2021, and holding the MIT event early in Group 4 will help inform the planning of future events.

Partnering with MIT is also a way to further support the South Auckland community. We are inviting MIT staff and students and their whānau to get the vaccine together so they and their community are protected against the virus. 

“This event removes barriers to accessibility for Māori, Pasifika and our South Auckland community, recognising the importance of the local population to the national fight against the virus,” Micah says.

The event – which has the capacity to vaccinate 15,000 Aucklanders - is delivered in partnership between MIT, Auckland District Health Boards and the Ministry of Health.

Similar events have already successfully been held in other countries around the world including the UK, Australia and Canada. 

MIT was chosen to participate because it is a major public institution in the area with more than 11,000 enrolled students and 1,100 staff.

The institute is the largest educator of Pasifika people at tertiary level in the country and 14% of all students are Māori.

“Our institute is playing a key role in getting the community vaccinated,” says acting Chief Executive Prof Martin Carroll.

“We are privileged to have been chosen to give our learners, staff and their families this opportunity while creating momentum for vaccination and awareness of its benefits in South Auckland.

Vaccination is the best way to ensure we can continue to provide essential education and training kanohi ki kanohi,” says Professor Carroll.

The event will mean some people in Group 4 will receive the vaccine ahead of schedule. This is an acknowledgment that vaccinating younger people in this community will have an overall positive benefit on regional health outcomes.

Alex Pimm, Vaccination Lead for Auckland District Health Board says he is thrilled to be partnering with MIT in New Zealand’s first mass vaccination event.

“We have asked MIT students and staff for their help in encouraging older and more vulnerable members of their whānau and community to come along to get vaccinated with them.” 

“Only by getting as many members of our most vulnerable communities vaccinated as we can will we win the fight against COVID-19 and keep Aotearoa New Zealand safe,” he says.

MIT Mass Vaccination has been carefully coordinated and will be run by dedicated medical professionals following New Zealand’s vaccination hygiene and safety protocols.