Providers say Māori-only vaccination clinics are vital

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Graham Young says that Ngāti Ruanui's health services now prioritize the Maori of Taranaki after months of serving the entire community.  (File photo)

ANDY JACKSON / STUFF

Graham Young says that Ngāti Ruanui’s health services now prioritize the Maori of Taranaki after months of serving the entire community. (File photo)

Iwi health providers in Taranaki say the Māori-only vaccination clinics are key to closing the gap with non-Māori vaccination rates.

This week, ACT party leader David Seymour tweeted a Māori-only vaccine code by healthcare provider Te Whānau o Waipareira, encouraging his supporters to use the code themselves.

Ngati Ruanui’s director general of health services, Graham Young, said these services should be reserved for Maori.

“The Maori-only vax clinics are really important because our population is lagging behind vaccination rates so we need to find ways to make sure we prioritize them. “

JERICHO ROCK-ARCHER / STUFF

Hundreds of people in Porirua received their first vaccine against Covid-19 in the comfort of their cars at a drive-through clinic specifically aimed at the Maori and Pasifika community.

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Other places are also targeting Maori for vaccinations, such as this recent drive-thru vaccination center for Maori families at Manfeild Stadium in Feilding where Albert Pritchard received his Covid-19 vaccine.

WARWICK SMITH / Stuff

Other places are also targeting Maori for vaccinations, such as this recent drive-thru vaccination center for Maori families at Manfeild Stadium in Feilding where Albert Pritchard received his Covid-19 vaccine.

Young said that after months of serving the entire community, Ngāti Ruanui now focused particularly on Maori five days a week, with no one coming for the vaccine.

He said the iwi and the health center would call whānau to encourage and organize the vaccinations, and spend a few days entirely for the vaccination without a reservation.

“This next Friday, at Hāwera Health Clinic, we have a full walk-in clinic. You can come in, you don’t need to have a reservation, and can get the jab – with a $ 25 Pak’nSave voucher.

Young said the goal was to remove the barriers, as some people found the online reservation system difficult.

“They know there won’t be too much paperwork and that they can get the vaccine immediately.

“They can come over and say, I’m going to have it today, I’m going to cross over, and it’s done.”

He said people were encouraged to bring their entire whānau Covid bubble to clinics in Hāwera and Pātea.

Warren Nicholls, chief executive of Ngāruahine Iwi Health Services, said he would offer marae-based pop-up clinics, targeting Ngāruahine descendants.

Catherine Groenestein / Tips

Warren Nicholls, chief executive of Ngāruahine Iwi Health Services, said he would offer marae-based pop-up clinics, targeting Ngāruahine descendants.

Ngaruahine Iwi Health Services has so far performed Covid testing, but chief executive Warren Nicholls has said he is on the verge of launching pop-up vaccination clinics.

“These will be pop-up clinics based on marae. We have a series of Ngaruahine marae scheduled for the next five weeks, and then we’ll repeat that in a few months for the second round as well. “

He said the pop-ups would be Maori-led and Maori-focused, and would target descendants of the Ngaruahine.

“No excuses: this is for the Maori. It is about reaching out… creating an environment where these trusting relationships can reach out, support, have conversations and encourage whānau to protect our whakapapa, protect our mokopuna, our kāumatua and whānau katoa.

Nicholls said anyone undecided about the vaccine would be welcome as well.

“Actually, come on, have whanaungatanga, have the conversation, so that an informed choice can be made.

“It’s not about the end result in terms of their final decision, it’s about basing it on specific and clear information and understanding that information.”

Tui Ora CEO Hayden Wano encourages whānau unsure about the vaccine to come forward for a kōrero with trained staff.

Taranaki-Daily-News

Tui Ora CEO Hayden Wano encourages whānau unsure about the vaccine to come forward for a kōrero with trained staff.

This week, Tui Ora organized clinics in Ōpunakē and Waitara especially for Maori.

From Thursday to Saturday and again Tuesday, the Tui Ora clinics will be held at TSB Stadium in New Plymouth.

Tui Ora general manager Hayden Wano encouraged whānau who were unsure of the vaccine to come and get a kōrero with trained staff.

“We really encourage our whānau if they get mixed messages as to whether it is safe or not, really encouraging them if they have any doubts to stand up wherever we run our clinics… and get the best advice possible. , because we know there is a lot of contradictory [messages] and even a lot of misinformation, especially on social media.


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