Pasifika community eager for vaccination clinic in New Plymouth

4 June 2021

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for the Taranaki Pasifika population is being welcomed by the community.

The Taranaki COVID-19 Vaccination programme has been working closely with the Taranaki Vaimoana Pasifika Charitable Trust to keep the local community informed and to understand their needs.

A Pasifika community fono last month hosted by the Ministry of Pasifika Peoples, Ministry of Health and the Taranaki Vaimoana Pasifika Charitable Trust gave people the opportunity to ‘talanoa’ and discuss the COVID-19 vaccination roll out. The main guest was Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga (a Fijian doctor based in Auckland), with Taranaki DHB’s Dr Jonathan Jarman and Steven Parrish also attending.

“The Taranaki DHB has arranged a venue and day specifically for the Taranaki Pasifika Community to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. We are so appreciative of the way the DHB, through Steven Parrish, have made this process so easy,” says Mataiva Robertson, chairperson of the Taranaki Vaimoana Pasifika Charitable Trust.

“The various Pasifika Church group leaders and members, as well as the wider Pasifika Community, have been told about this initiative via email, social media and word of mouth. We hope this raises awareness of the importance of getting this vaccination.”

The clinic is taking place on Tuesday 8 June at the Whiteley Methodist Church on Liardet Street, New Plymouth, from 9am.

“We are very pleased to be able to facilitate a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in a culturally appropriate environment where people feel safe and comfortable,” says Steven Parrish, senior responsible officer for the Taranaki COVID-19 Vaccination programme.

“The Pasifica community have been a large part of our planning when it comes to delivering an equitable vaccination programme and this clinic is one example of that.”

The programme also vaccinated 44 ‘Recognised Seasonal Employer’ workers, employed by Silver Fern Farms and based in South Taranaki, at the Hawera vaccination centre at the TSB Hub last Saturday (29 May).

Steven says “It was an opportunity to ensure these workers received protection before returning to Samoa. They’ll be receiving their second dose next week.”

“The workers were very appreciative for the opportunity to receive the vaccination and gave positive feedback of the superb service they received,” says Mataiva.

Last updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2021

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