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Drive-through vaccine clinic set up in Rotorua

Photo: RNZ.

A drive-through vaccination clinic is being established in Rotorua this week to ensure as many whānau as possible can be protected against Covid-19.

The clinic is a by Māori, for Māori partnership that has been set up by Korowai Aroha, Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao, Western Heights Health Centre, Manaaki Ora, Te Roopu Hauora o Te Arawa and Te Arawa Covid Hub, supported by Lakes DHB, Rotorua Lakes Council and Civil Defence, Foodstuffs and numerous other groups and organisations.

The vaccines will be administered by clinicians and nursing staff from the supporting Māori Health Providers, with Lakes DHB staff involved in helping the clinic to get up and running.

The clinic will run from 10am to 2pm on Wednesday, September 1, to Friday, September 3, in the old Foodstuffs Warehouse at 33 Clayton Road, and will return in six weeks in the same area to administer the vaccine’s second dose.

Bookings are essential online at https://tearawacovid19.nz/vaccination/ or by free phone 0508 TE ARAWA.

There must be a minimum of two people per vehicle and a maximum of four. This is to help with observation in the vehicle during the 15-minute period following vaccination.

Medical staff will be on site in case anyone has a reaction.

This clinic is only suitable for cars or SUVs. Motorbikes, trucks, or other high-sided vehicles will not be able to go through the clinic.

While vaccinating the most vulnerable in these communities are a priority, the drive-through clinic is open for everyone.

Te Runanga o Ngāti Pikiao GP and member of Te Roopu Hauora o Te Arawa, Dr Grace Malcolm, says the purpose of the drive-through clinic is to increase the number of vaccinations for Māori and other vulnerable members of the community – as soon as possble.

“We understand it’s not always easy for our most vulnerable whānau to access the COVID-19 vaccine through conventional channels. This clinic is a way to bridge that gap and ensure the vaccine is accessible to everyone.

“The community and marae-based outreach clinicx have proven hugely successful, but these aree not possible in Level 4 or Level 3. We need to significantly increase the number of Māori who are vaccinated and the drive-through clinic makes it safe and easy for them to do so.

“Having said that, the clinic is open for all – the more people we have vaccinated in our community, the better we will be able to protect all of our vulnerable people.”

Dr Malcolm says the current Covid-19 Delta variant outbreak highlights the critical need to fast-track vaccination rates across the country.

“Ensuring people have accurate information about the vaccine and removing barriers to getting it are vital. Vaccinating against Covid-19 is still the most effective way to protect our whānau and their loved ones.

"Tukua mai, kia piri, Tukua mai, kia tata, Waiariki nui tonu - Let it be,  come hither, let it be, let us unite the people of Waiariki.”

Go to https://tearawacovid19.nz/vaccination/ to book your vaccination online.

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