Tairāwhiti locals struggling to get vaccines raise over $117K for mobile clinic

Source: 1News

Tairāwhiti Gisborne locals struggling to access Covid-19 vaccination clinics are taking matters into their own hands.

Locals have been fundraising for their own mobile vaccination clinic, without easy access to the jab in remote areas of the region.

Te Whānau-a-Tūwhakairiora's Tina Ngata told Breakfast there are no walk-in clinics in the area, people like herself have to travel over three hours to the nearest clinic, some clinics are not open daily or even weekly in some cases, and during those limited days they're only open limited hours when some people can't make it due to work commitments.

"For some of our whānau it's logistically difficult."

All this while there are only six ICU beds in the district, she added.

But now a Givealittle page set up to get a mobile clinic to distribute vaccine in the area has raised more than $117,000 as of 10.50am on Monday.

"We've been really overwhelmed at the response to our fundraising efforts for our mobile vaccine clinic," Ngata said.

"We've been watching it (the Givealittle page) grow with amazement and also filled with aroha and gratitude."

She said it surpassed the amount of money expected to be raised for the mobile clinic.

"What we're looking at is a five-week door-to-door vaccine programme that just goes and relies upon our local information, our local services, our people who are on the frontlines for natural disasters and climate related events and our Civil Defence whānau and our kai distribution whānau from lockdown who intimately know every household in our community.

"We'll be using their intelligence, our local intelligence to get those vaccine rates but also to work those connections and relationships and make the vaccine as available to every household as we can."

Ngata's comments come after Super Saturday during which more than 130,000 vaccines were administered throughout the country.

That means, now 85 per cent of the eligible population have had their first Covid jab - more than 3.5 million people.

More than 2.7 million people are fully vaccinated with two jabs.