November 2021

Waimirirangi MacDonald and Evelyn Colegate v2

Since the organisation started its vaccination drive for frontline staff and vulnerable whānau in April it has delivered more than 10,000 jabs into arms reaching the milestone on Saturday. Of the total 10,265 – 5,879 are first doses and the remainder second doses.

Speaking from the Tui Ora clinic at the Onuku Taipairi domain in Ngāmotu today Tui Ora, Chief Executive Hayden Wano said:

“There has never been a better reason to get vaccinated. With the detection of Covid-19 in Stratford wastewater this week it is possible we have undetected community transmission. The vaccine remains our best protection against serious illness from the virus so we are encouraging all whānau not to delay.”

For Whānau Ora General Manager, Tamara Ruakere the milestone reflected the hard graft of Tui Ora kaimahi but was no reason to be complacent:

“We know that the majority of people in Aotearoa suffering from Covid 19 right now are Māori, followed by Pasifika. These are two of the ethnic groups most vulnerable, so the job is not done yet.

“If we want to reach our vaccination goal we need to be vaccinating at least 1,500 Taranaki Māori each week between now and the end of the year.”

“It’s a massive task but we are working really hard with iwi, Te Aranga and the TDHB to boost Māori vaccination rates.

Tui Ora Clinical Nurse Leader, Robyn Taylor emphasised the need for testing:

“Even if you only have mild cold symptoms you should get a test - and stay at home until you get the results of the test.”

“Testing is the best way for us to find cases. Once a case is identified contact tracers can try and reach the people who may have been exposed.”

Robyn and her team of vaccinators and administrative staff have been on the frontline of the campaign for several months now and says:

“We know that some people are concerned about getting the vaccine but we encourage them to come along to one of our clinics anyway. We have clinically trained staff who can give you advice and information about the vaccine.

“We’ve had some people just come in for a kōrero and then go away and think about it, maybe do some more research and then they come back and tell us they are ready.”

As a response to the recent wastewater detection iwi health providers Ngāruahine and Ngāti Ruanui have stood up extra testing capacity in Stratford and South Taranaki. Full details of these clinics and testing stations throughout Taranaki can be found on the TDHB website here.(external link)

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