Push continues to see more Māori vaccinated in Auckland

Laura James
Source: 1News

Hundreds of Aucklanders turned out to get jabbed at an event on Saturday intended to be the city’s largest Māori vaccination drive.

Held in Māngere's town centre, organisers said it was about continuing the momentum achieved from Super Saturday earlier this month.

“Our team has been busy contacting more than 6,000 enrolled patients in the Māngere area to encourage them to come out”, said Bindi Norwell, ProCare’s Chief Executive.

Turuki Health Care’s Chief Executive Te Puea Winiata adding, "we've done a huge comms exercise."

1News was with student army volunteers on Friday as they delivered pamphlets, promoting the event.

The big push is because Counties Manukau DHB still needs 6,661 jabs to reach its 90 per cent first dose target.

Across the city, more than 17,000 still need to be vaccinated to get Auckland’s Māori population to 90 per cent, with first doses.

Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillor Daniel Newman said, “I've never known a time in our community tougher than what we're experiencing at the moment.”

Winiata, who's been looking at the numbers said, "we're really concerned about the low vaccination rates for whānau in Mangere."

A number of organisations worked together on Saturday's event, including ProCare, Turuki Health Care, Waikato Tainui and Hāpai te Hauora.

ProCare's Mihi Blair said the team work's important, because, "we're all in the same waka".

"Collective effort is a must when you're working with whānau Māori in particular."

The event had free food, voucher giveaways, health checks and entertainment from artists including King Kapisi for people to enjoy during their observation periods.

There was also special consideration for the disabled community at the vaccination drive.

Winiata said: "They are another part of our community that haven't been well served by the rollout of the vaccination programme, so today we've got our deaf signers up there, we've got wheelchair access and a quieter environment".

Brandy Watene-Paul, who's deaf, and came along for her second vaccination.

"With an interpreter, I feel really comfortable with this process," she said. "I was bit nervous about it and the interpreter was pivotal in that process."

1News spoke to many who made the call to get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccination today.

One said he'd made the call due to "peer pressure", with another saying he just wanted to protect his family.

An event at Rosehill College also drew in many first timers.

One woman brought three of her children to all receive their first jabs.

Another mother said she decided to roll up her sleeve, after her 17-year-old daughter-in-law in Melbourne contracted Covid-19.

"That's what changed my mind, I was against it... I didn't believe in it, now I do," she said.