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Pasifika leading the vax charge in Tairawhiti

THE Pasifika community in Tairāwhiti has reached the 100 percent milestone for first vaccination doses and 90 percent for second.

The targets were met on December 2.

Pacific Islanders Community Trust (PICT) Gisborne operational manager Dr ‘Alaimaluloa Toetu'u-Tamihere said they supported the vaccination effort by communicating with Pasifika families and encouraging them to attend vaccination clinics around the region.

Under vaccination advice from Hauora Tairāwhiti district health board, PICT posted clinic information on its official Facebook page PICT Tairāwhiti and staff called families to ensure they went to clinics.

Dr Toetu'u-Tamihere said they were “proud and humbled” to stand alongside others “to fight against this pandemic through vaccination. To protect our families, this nation and the future of the Pacific peoples — our children”.

Hauora Tairāwhiti chief executive Jim Green said the outbreak in Auckland and its effect on people had motivated the Pasifika community in Tairāwhiti to protect themselves through vaccination.

“It's absolutely great leadership. It has enabled the community here to be mobilised to achieve that stunning result and lead the way here in Tairāwhiti.

“There was close collaboration with PICT and there were a number of events at the start in church gatherings where there was an opportunity to talk about the vaccine with the communities and give them vaccination advice.

“These events carried on through in terms of getting the Pasifika community vaccinated.”

Mr Green said the Pasifika community's efforts would motivate Māori and other eligible populations in the region.

“We have already seen a boost happening in the Māori population.

“We were really happy with the weekend (vaccinations). Many people showed up to get their first and second doses.

“It is really important for people to come and get their vaccination this week because if you get your first dose by Friday at the latest you can get your second dose by December 31. Get vaccinated in 2021 and be vaccinated against Covid-19 for 2022.

“We only need 627 first doses to reach the 90 percent target for partially vaccinated for our region.

“We have got great support from iwi and iwi providers. We are also supported by Vax to the Max and Tu Mai Tairāwhiti campaign. With this additional support we can meet our targets and protect our community in Tairāwhiti.

“Well done to our Pasifika community. The effort by them to achieve that protection is amazing.”

As of yesterday, 88.6 percent of the eligible population in Tairāwhiti had received their first dose and 79.1 were double dosed.