Cromwell Pharmacy has been kept very busy recently, with large numbers of people lining up for their Covid booster shots.
Last week, the pharmacy provided vaccines all day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, as they anticipated the demand from those who had been double vaccinated for at least 4 months.
People have attended from Wanaka, on holidays from the North Island, and those locals about to go back to work – it has nearly all been about the booster shots.
It would have been difficult to keep operating as a pharmacy business as well, but for the help of three volunteers.
Owner Jackie Hamilton, herself kept busy vaccinating, enlisted the help of her mother Pip and husband Alistair to welcome people and confirm their details.
Jackie is very grateful for the voluntary assistance of local medical doctor Sandy Crofts.
Dr Sandy does locum work in emergency centres around New Zealand – during lockdown she was stuck in Palmerston North for longer than anticipated.
She is away again now, but says that she offered her services to Jackie because she just wanted something to do.
“My other reason,” says Sandy, “is that Jackie gives so much to the community, and to so many local clubs and service groups, that I wanted to give back to her.
I can’t commit to a regular job here, but I volunteer on the understanding that if I can, I will.”
“Sandy has been amazing! When she is here, she is so generous and has been such a help.” says Jackie, adding, “We have been really busy, but with Mum and Ali to help, we have been able to get an efficient flow going.
“Pip and Ali ‘meet’em and greet’em’, Jackie is there to ‘treat’em’ and then I ‘street’em’!” says Sandy, referring to her task of making sure that patients are safe and well before they leave for home.
Pharmacies as essential businesses do not require a vaccine pass to enter, but remember to stay away if you are sick. Face coverings, signing in and physical distancing remain mandatory.
Clinics at the pharmacy will now run on Saturdays between 10am and 3pm for as long as there is a demand. Bookings are helpful, but there will most likely be spaces in the afternoon if you just turn up.