The Niuean community have started their vaccination drive today which will run to Saturday 25 September and the organizers are aiming to vaccinate at least 500 people a day.
Among the Niuean population in Auckland, 60.5% have received their first dose, however only 31.3% are fully vaccinated (as at end of Sunday 19 September).
Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) are supporting the community-led event through Pasifika Futures (PFL) – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families.
PMA member Dr Collin Tukuitonga has advocated for community-led vaccination drives and he is leading the Niuean vaccination event over the next few days.
“A community owned and driven event is always going to be more successful. When we take ownership and do it ourselves, the people will come.
This is the first time we’ve taken on this kind of responsibility as a Niue community but it’s important that we offer an additional opportunity for our people to get vaccinated.
Our vaccine coverage rates are among the lowest and Pacific people are at an increased risk from the virus. So we’ve rallied together, using our family and community networks to encourage people to get vaccinated.”
Dr Monica Liva, a GP at Turuki Healthcare in Mangere, is part of the medical working group for the event. She echoes Dr Tukuitonga’s sentiments around the importance of community driven vaccination drives.
“Niuean healthcare workers, church ministers, community leaders and social community groups are coming together to help plan the best way to increase awareness and accessibility for as many people in the Niuean community to get vaccinated.
Niue island has vaccinated almost 100% of their eligible population and this is proof that if we come together as a Niuean community here in New Zealand, we can reach that same target.”
Dr Liva encourages the Niuean community to see this as an opportunity to protect each other.
“We as a Niuean community need to come together to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. Choosing to get vaccinated is a choice that involves more than yourself. It is about doing the greater good for all people.
Date: Thursday 23 September