Vaccination protesters gathered along State Highway 2 in Masterton on Friday. PHOTO/TOM TAYLOR

Vaccines primed for U12s

GRACE PRIOR
grace.prior@age.co.nz

Seven new covid-19 locations of interest emerged in Wairarapa on Friday, although there were no new covid-19 cases to add to the four announced on Thursday.

Four people with covid-19 were isolating in Featherston, linked to another two cases in Lower Hutt.

Covid-19 was detected in wastewater in South Wairarapa on Monday, thought to be linked to the four Featherston cases reported on Thursday.

The seven new locations brought the number of locations of interest in Wairarapa to 12, consisting of 15 visits.

The Ministry of Health [MOH] listed five new locations in South Wairarapa and one each in Masterton and Carterton. People visiting the seven new locations during the specified times were not considered close contacts of covid-19 cases.

MOH said people should self-monitor for covid-19 symptoms for 10 days from the date of potential exposure if they visited any of the new locations of interest listed below.

Supermarket FreshChoice Greytown was one of the new locations published on Friday.

Owner Chris Ward said his business had not needed to make any changes since becoming a location of interest.

He said his staff had been following all covid-19 guidelines, sanitising, and self-monitoring for symptoms.

“We had been behaving like it had happened already.”

Ward said he and his staff had been prepared for the possibility that the business could become a location of interest.

He said covid-19 was always going to make its way into the community and said his staff were looking out for each other and customers.

“This is a reminder to be mindful that everyone is doing the best they can at any given moment.”

MOH said 635 tests were completed in Wairarapa from December 20 to Thursday, January 13.

Previously reported locations of interest included The Big Apple Fruit Store in Greytown, New World Carterton, Owls Attic in Carterton, Carrington Park public toilet, and Trocadero Coffee Bar in Masterton.

Patrons who visited Trocadero between the hours of 11.17am and 12.30pm on Sunday, January 9, were considered close contacts to a covid-19 case and were required to self-isolate.

Covid-19 tests were available at the Wairarapa After Hours service at Masterton Medical from 10.30am-12.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

At the same time as the new locations of interest emerged, organisation Voices for Freedom took to Chapel St, Masterton, on Friday to protest the introduction of vaccinations for under-12s.

Organiser Deborah, who did not provide her last name, said the timing of the protest was a coincidence.

“We didn’t even know about the cases. You can see we’re social distancing, so we’re not putting anyone at risk,” Deborah said.

“The government is starting something which we question, as in, vaccinations for children five to 11 years old, starting next week. That is why we’re out, and that’s why we’re trying to raise awareness.”

Children aged five to 11 could access a covid-19 vaccine from today, while young people aged 12 to 15 could already get vaccinated.

The five to 11 age group would receive a children’s version of the Pfizer vaccine with a lower dose and smaller volume.

According to the government’s covid-19 website, the lower dose was based on a trial that showed it had few side effects in this age group.

Additional reporting by Tom Taylor

Locations of interest

Vape N Save Carterton: Wednesday, January 5, 11.20-11.30am; Sunday, January 9, 12.47-1.02pm.

The Warehouse Masterton: Thursday, January 6, 11-11.20am.

The Big Apple Fruit Store Greytown: Thursday, January 6: 12.57-1.15pm; Sunday, January 9: 12.57-1.12pm.

Mobil Adamson’s Service Station Featherston: Sunday, January 9, 12.30-12.45pm.

SuperValue Featherston: Monday, January 10, 10-10.15am; Tuesday, January 11, 10-10.15am.

FreshChoice Greytown: Monday, January 10, 11.44am-noon.

The Bottle-O Featherston: Tuesday, January 11, 3.24-3.44pm.

Pine Haven Orchards Greytown: Wednesday, January 12, 11.30-11.45am.

New World Carterton: Saturday, January 8, 2.15-2.30pm.

Carrington Park Public Toilets: Saturday, January 8, 2.30-2.35pm.

Trocadero Coffee Bar Masterton: Sunday, January 9, 11.17am-12.30pm.

Owl’s Attic Carterton: Sunday, January 9, 12.43-12.53pm.



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