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Getting down to business to up vaccination rate

More staff at local businesses are getting vaccinated, thanks to a joint approach between Tūranga Health and Trust Tairāwhiti to keep community workplaces safe.

As the regional economic development agency, the trust has been working directly with businesses to connect them with the Tūranga Health team to provide vaccinations.

“We care about our employees and our workforce and we need to make sure they're safe,” Trust workforce adviser Karen Fenn says. “We've contacted about 60 businesses already, starting with our larger employers in the horticulture and forestry sector so we can get as many people vaccinated as possible.

“We're also checking in on their general wellbeing. The businesses we've spoken to really appreciate the call and have been grateful for the support.”

From the businesses contacted, 27 have been referred to the mobile vaccination team at Tūranga Health, who generally start by going into workplaces and providing an education session with workers on the vaccine and dispel any misinformation myths.

“We appreciate getting that lead in from Trust Tairāwhiti, which allows us to get into those workplaces and start up front with the education before going back in to do the vaccinations,” says Tūranga Health chief executive Reweti Ropiha.

“For us it's about delivering a great experience. We bring in a coffee cart, have a good korero and we know if we get that happening at work, they'll share the experience at home with their whānau.”

Trust Tairāwhiti general manager of economic development Richard Searle said it was great to see so many local businesses backing this kaupapa.

“A fully vaccinated workforce will help protect workplaces from Covid-19.

“Employers can support this by removing barriers that may stop their staff from getting vaccinated and making it easy and accessible.”

The trust is also working to keep busiensses informed on the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.

“We've been sending weekly newsletters to our local business database with the latest government information and guidance,” a trust spokeswoman said.

“Our workforce advisers have been contacting the larger employers in the region to discuss their workplace vaccination needs. We're then connecting them with the Turanga Health mobile vaccination team, who are going into workplaces providing education sessions, followed by vaccinations for staff.

“Later next week we're filming a panel discussion with local experts covering key information for businesses and employees about the traffic light framework.”