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Māori And Pasifika Vaccination Programme Underway In Southern

This week the Southern district COVID-19 vaccine team is launching its programme to vaccinate the over 32,000 strong Māori and Pasifika community across Southland and Otago.

In a video released by the Southern District Health Board, New Zealand born Samoan singer Jonathan Lemalu shares his experience of taking his whānau to be vaccinated at the mass vaccination clinic in the Meridian Mall, Dunedin.

“Living in London, I have seen and experienced the effects of Covid first-hand and it’s a huge responsibility for my family and I to take care of ourselves and our community in New Zealand,” Lemalu said.

“It was a great experience, and I was really glad to have my family there to support me. I’m really proud and happy that my family and I are protected against the Covid-19 virus and I encourage whānau to go and get their vaccination too.”

Southern Health has partnered with Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora, Awarua Whānau Services, Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust and Ōtākou Health Limited, to deliver a whānau-centred model, inviting whānau to be vaccinated together at drop-in clinics.

The rollout includes multiple approaches for reaching Māori and Pacific communities, including dedicated time slots at mass vaccination clinics in Dunedin and Invercargill, rural clinics and marae-based clinics, and the potential for alternate delivery models as the campaign progresses.

The Ministry of Health is currently enforcing no casual drop-ins at vaccine clinics across the country to better manage vaccine supply until the end of July. However, the Māori and Pasifika vaccination programme is operating under a planned drop-in model, which means we have allocated a certain number of vaccine doses per clinic.

Southern DHB COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Incident Controller Hamish Brown said, “it is great that we are able to be flexible in our approach, as we have identified that a whanau-centred, drop-in model is the most effective way to vaccinate Māori and Pasifika communities across Southern district.”

Brown extended his thanks to the Māori and Pacific health providers who have partnered with Southern Health on the innovative model, and all those supporting its rollout.

Watch the full clinic walkthrough video, and find dates and times for the planned Māori and Pasifika drop-in clinics at: https://www.southernhealth.nz/COVID19/maoriandpasifika

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