All vaccine booking slots for children in Christchurch, excluding general practice surgeries where they are enrolled, are full for the next three days.
There are nine clinics in Christchurch that currently offer the vaccine for 5–11-year-olds where bookings can be made online through Book my Vaccine.
Six of those had no booking slots available at all when checked on Monday – Halswell Health, the Christchurch Arena Drive Through, Riccarton Clinic Urgent Care, Burnside Medical Centre, Barrington Hub and Health Works Pharmacy.
Spots become available at just one location, Ngā Hau e Whā Marae, on Thursday with more opening up at the Unichem Bealey Ave next Monday.
The remaining four clinics, including the Orchard Rd Vaccination Hub, are not offering bookings until next Wednesday and Thursday.
When contacted, the Canterbury District Health Board referred the Herald to the local vaccination webpage.
A caller on Canterbury Mornings with John MacDonald on NewstalkZB this morning said she had been driving around with her two children under 12 in Christchurch but could not find a clinic to vaccinate them.
"We went online and several places are listed as being available but they don't have their supply yet. We walked into two and they didn't. We are just feeling quite frustrated," she said.
More than half a million doses of the vaccine arrived in the country earlier this month, ahead of the roll-out covering some 476,000 eligible children across New Zealand.
While there are no plans for a school-based immunisation programme, schools are being considered as community vaccination sites.
A parent, caregiver or legal guardian needs to accompany the child to their immunisation appointment and provide consent for them to be vaccinated.
As with adults, children need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected, and the ministry recommended these be given at least eight weeks apart – although the interval could be safely shortened to a minimum of 21 days if needed.
- by Devon Bolger