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Covid-19: Pasifika vaccine events aim to hit 90% first dose target in Auckland

Organisers of two Pasifika-focused vaccination events want to tip the scales to 90 per cent first vaccinations for Auckland’s Pasifika community by Sunday.

Mega Vax Pacific, held at Mt Smart Stadium from Friday to Sunday, 9am-5pm, aims to administer 10,000 doses.

Meanwhile, Tāmaki Vax 4 Love, hosted by Tamaki College in Glen Innes on Thursday and Friday, is planning to deliver more than 1000 doses.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Auckland’s Pasifika population was 8317 doses shy of reaching 90 per cent first doses, and 34,015 doses shy of reaching 90 per cent fully vaccinated.

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* Covid-19: Churches, pop-ups and one-on-one chats needed to boost Pasifika rates – expert

Mega Vax Pacific or MVP is organised by the Pacific Leadership Forum. It is a pan-Pacific effort which is organised to feel more like a festival than a clinic.

Organiser Pakilau Manase Lua said with lockdown now into its 13th week, people were tired. The team wanted to host something fun and safe for the community.

“Many of us haven’t been back to the islands since the lockdown, so this is a way for us to thank our communities,” he said.

“It’s also a call to arms for those who haven’t been vaccinated, to get vaccinated. It’s totally up to them whether they want the jab or not … this might be the tipping point for them and they’ll say, ‘Yep, I’ll get it.’”

Mega Vax Pacific is a collaboration between nine Pasifika ethnic groups across Auckland to get another 10,000 vaccine doses into Pasifika arms. Southseas Health Care will be delivering the vaccines.

Supplied

Mega Vax Pacific is a collaboration between nine Pasifika ethnic groups across Auckland to get another 10,000 vaccine doses into Pasifika arms. Southseas Health Care will be delivering the vaccines.

At the entrance, the Niue and Kiribati communities will be waiting to welcome arrivals and usher them towards the registration area where Tongan, Fijian and Rotuman performers will be dancing and singing.

When people get to the area where they receive their vaccinations, they will meet the Samoan, Tokelau and Tuvalu community groups and see their performances.

On Sunday, church ministers will be on site giving devotional services and singing hymns to encourage people to come out on the day of worship too.

Getting vaccinated is about protecting your loved ones, Tamaki College director of pastoral care Nepote Hingano said.

Supplied

Getting vaccinated is about protecting your loved ones, Tamaki College director of pastoral care Nepote Hingano said.

“We’ve done the ethnic specific pop-ups and the different churches, now it’s time for us to come together,” Lua said.

Tāmaki Vax 4 Love is the first Pasifika-focused mass vaccination event held in east Auckland.

It is hosted and organised by Tamaki College and Tereora Academy, with vaccinations delivered by The Fono and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

Site lead and school pastoral care director Nepote Hingano said he hoped young people would answer the call to get vaccinated for their loved ones.

The plan is for prize giveaways to be drawn every half an hour, and if 1000 people were vaccinated over the two days, one of those 1000 might win a family trip around New Zealand.

On Thursday, the drive-in and walk-in event will run from midday until 10pm, to encourage anyone who can’t steal away during working hours to get their vaccines. There will also be a fireworks display.

Friday’s vaccinations are from 6am until 3pm, to catch people heading home from night shift.



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