Publication:

Hastings Leader - 2021-10-13

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PM appeals to youth in vaccination drive

FRONT PAGE

Sahiban Hyde

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says kuia and kaumātua have been vaccinated in Hawke’s Bay and it’s time for rangatahi to stand up. Ardern visited a vaccination drivethrough clinic in Camberley, Hastings yesterday to talk to frontline staff and attempt to help boost rates of vaccination. The visit, at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga (TToH) drive-through vaccination centre, was part of the second day of a tour of areas with lower rates of inoculation against Covid-19. “We know that there’s a range of reasons people may not be vaccinated,” Ardern told Hawke’s Bay Today. “For many, it’s because they are just wanting to wait a little longer. “I’m confident that . . . if people they trust reach out and talk about why they chose to be vaccinated, it will make a difference. “Already we are seeing really high rates of vaccine for older age groups . . . we just need to all do what we can to see that lift across the board.” While visiting TToH, Ardern asked the frontline staff what their concerns were around the vaccination. TToH chief executive Waylyn Tahuri-Whaipakanga said the organisation brought up a need for funding for the vaccination clinics and resources. “We also requested to have Māori nurses on the frontline [vaccinators and admin],” she said. “We also talked to her about getting the rangatahi voice — a DHB-led advisory group has started this and it’s called Mana Ora Mana Rangatahi.” She said the PM also wanted to know the challenges and best aspects of the vaccination effort locally. “The Prime Minister wanted to know the barriers and the highlights of our clinics. We told her our highlights —– hangi, kai vouchers — every wha¯nau benefits from kai, marae appreciated it, and marae-based vaccination,” she said. “Our barriers are lack of resource, and funding direct to Māori providers.” She said Ardern offered to facilitate discussions between Māori providers and government agencies to find solutions together. As of Thursday, 76 per cent of Hawke’s Bay’s eligible population had received at least one dose. Fifty-five per cent of the Māori population had received at least one dose, and 91 per cent of the Pasifika population had received at least one dose. Speaking to Hawke’s Bay Today yesterday, Ardern said there were two components to getting eligible people in the region vaccinated. “We need to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated by responding to questions and concerns people have around it.” She said there were people who were concerned about the health effects, and some had fears around needles, and all those concerns were equally valid, and needed to be addressed. “We are now at the harder end of getting people vaccinated and we want an environment where people can talk about these things,” she said. She said the Government’s role was figuring out how to best support healthcare providers so they could do their best to provide information and vaccinations around the region. “Every single community needs to get their own armour, Covid is not just about Auckland, it’s about all of New Zealand.” She was to visit Wairoa yesterday afternoon on her way up to East Coast communities.

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