Got Ya Dot vaccination campaign sees rangatahi take charge

Source: 1News

The Got Ya Dot vaccination campaign, which is aimed at and led by rangatahi, kicked off on Saturday across Aotearoa.

By Tessa Parker

Vaccination hubs were set up at different community locations throughout Wellington and Tāmaki Makaurau, all feeding into the centre of the action, Eden Park.

With TikTok takeovers, loud music, Got Ya Dot ‘influencers’ and a continuous live stream, event organisers aimed to use non-traditional methods to encourage vaccinations.

Kia Aroha College in Ōtara, South Auckland, was one of the vaccination sites. Principal Haley Milne says the day was about catering to what youth needed, to help them create space in their whānau.

“It's important to think about how our young people engage in their activities... This particular activity is so important so we needed to make sure we were connecting with them.

“It’s our young people driving our whānau to come, they’re the instigators of the family.

“We have a 20-strong whānau here today led by a 14-year-old.”

Got Ya Dot pushed the Super Saturday follow-up by campaigning on social media, a tactic that volunteer Tangaroa Paul supported.

“Social media is the young person's platform, and we’re fortunate that’s where lots of our influencers come from Ōtara and our community.

“We want to encourage our rangatahi Māori to see what their approach is and hear this voice around Covid and vaccination.. Which this enables us to do.”

Misinformation about the vaccine has been present with rangatahi, especially online.

While the event was about achieving a large number of ‘dots’, Paul says that the youth-led effort was also about widening the conversation and bringing the focus onto rangatahi.

“We have a lot of contradicting opinions around being vaccinated, so we’re trying to remove the stigma and make sure we encourage whānau to have open conversations with one another.”

The number of vaccinations Got Ya Dot administered has not yet been released.