SkyCity encourages vaccination through its own vax hub

By Charlotte Lee Updated
SkyCity encourages vaccination through its own vax hub

New Zealand’s largest casino operator SkyCity is running its own private vaccination hub where it hopes 500 staff will get the injection.

NZ Herald reports that SkyCity Entertainment Group chief executive Michael Ahearne said the company wanted all 4200 people protected.

“Our goal is to have 100 per cent of our employees vaccinated.

“In the past months, we’ve communicated about the benefits of getting vaccinated.”

About five weeks ago, staff were also invited to hear from University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

“We had a live question and answer session,” Ahearne said.

“The key messages were that the vaccine is safe and the only way people can protect themselves against COVID.

“She talked about the science and background and how vaccines are created.”

SkyCity outlines vaccination plan

But the company has gone even further and a spokesperson said SkyCity could be one of the first non-essential worker businesses to run a private vaccination session.

“To help us achieve this goal, this week we held a COVID-19 vaccination event in the SkyCity Auckland Theatre exclusively for our people and their bubbles,” Ahearne said.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, around 150 staff were vaccinated each day in the theatre and the aim was to vaccinate another 200 staff last Saturday.

The event is being run with Zoom Pharmacy, an accredited vaccination provider by the Auckland District Health Board.

A second event is planned for the end of October: “There will be a followup then for those who haven’t been vaccinated.”

Health and safety measures prescribed by the Ministry of Health ensure everyone’s safety,” Ahearne said.

“This follows a successful event run in partnership with Ngati Whatua Orakei which saw 65 of SkyCity’s employees from SkyCity’s Maori employee network register for vaccination at Ngati Whatua Orakei’s iwi-led vaccination centre in Tamaki Makurau,” the SkyCity spokesperson said.

Ahearne said: “If you make it easy and convenient, people will get vaccinated. We pay people to have time off to be vaccinated. We have given petrol vouchers for people to drive in.”

SkyCity CEO outlines plan for vax record

The CEO is walking the talk: “I got the first vaccination in August at a drive-in centre in Auckland and the second at Mt Wellington two weeks ago.”

Asked about side effects: “Not a thing. It was very well run and organised. All the family is vaccinated, although a 14-year-old son is due his second shot in another fortnight.”

Ahearne said he did not know how many of the 4200 staff had been vaccinated due to privacy issues that were being worked through, but the hope is to keep a record.

“Our plan is to get everyone to provide proof of vaccine for our records.”

At Adelaide, 1000 staff were being encouraged to be vaccinated, although no centre had been set up within the riverside property.

Fletcher Building’s 13,700 staff in NZ, Australia and the Pacific Islands, have been invited to participate in its programmed named #myWhy, while Westpac, with 4000 NZ employees said it introduced paid special leave for employees to attend COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Crown floats compulsory vaccination for staff and patrons

In mid-September, Australian casino operator Crown Resorts said it was pushing for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for its employees and customers of its venues.

It employs 20,000 people at its resorts and casinos in Australia.

Crown Melbourne and Crown Resorts chief executive Steve McCann said 60 per cent of the company’s employees had already received at least one dose of vaccine.

“This is about protecting every Australian. We want to create a safe environment for people to come to work, and also for our guests to come to enjoy themselves,” he said.

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