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Community Working Together To Drive Vaccination Uptake

With almost half of all eligible people in Taumarunui still to get their second COVID-19 shot local iwi and community organisations are working together to get everyone possible fully vaccinated.

Representatives from local iwi, healthcare, education, Council and others met at the Manunui Room in Taumarunui this morning to agree an action plan on how to get this done.

The latest vaccination figures from the Waikato District Health Board show that only 52.6% of people have received both vaccination shots in Taumarunui.

For Maori 37.8% have received both vaccination shots while for all other groups it was 65.5%.

The low 52.6% fully vaccinated number is in-line with national figures showing Ruapehu is second bottom in the country for double vaccinated people.

The hui discussed learnings from the first lockdown last year including the importance of sharing information to help find and access the hard to get to, or isolated communities, as well how to best work with vaccine hesitant people.

Maxin Ketu from Ngāti Hāua Iwi Trust said it was important to recognise that there were a number of reasons besides mistrust of the vaccine as to why people may not be vaccinated including a lack of resources to get to a clinic, living in remote rural areas, lack of suitable childcare or work commitments amongst other things.

Council Chief Executive Clive Manley said Council's civil defence capabilities and other resources were being made available to support the vaccination objectives.

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“The hui has agreed to create three separate work groups focusing on developing plans to address community vaccination issues, iwi vaccination issues and the clinical response.

These will be worked on over the coming week and will be reported back to the group at another hui on Friday next week,” he said.

“Council was also rebranding our mobile i.SITE caravan that had been originally purchased to operate from the Park and Ride in National Park Village.

Because of COVID-19 we have not been able to use it as planned and so we want to repurpose it to take information and vaccinations to where the people are.

The plan initially is to set the caravan up outside the Taumarunui New World and we want a second mobile solution for outside the 4 Square.

If people are available to help with the vaccination drive in some way please come along to the hui next Friday 5 November at 9.30am in the Miriama Room (lower floor, Cossie Club).”

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