Northland's Indian community has reached 90 per cent double vaccination and the credit goes to the culture of joint families, says a community spokesman.
The Indian community is the fourth largest sub-group in Northland - after European, Māori, and Pacific – and 90.7 per cent of the eligible 2087 Indian people are now fully vaccinated, while 92.7 per cent have received one jab.
The 'denominator' that has been used is 'PHO-enrolled population'.
Northland Indian Association board member Jas Singh reckons the reason behind the high vaccine uptake has something to do with people living in joint families.
"Many people within our community live in joint families, with three generations living under the same roof – kids, parents, and grandparents.
"So everyone in the house got a vaccine to protect those who could not get it - for instance, children under the age of 12 - and also looking out for everyone in the wider community.
"Another reason was the community understood the reason and science behind the vaccines."
Singh, who is also a part of Whangārei's Sikh community, said everyone coming to the Sikh temple had been fully vaccinated.
He acknowledged that everyone had a right to decide, but said that every right came with a responsibility.
If everyone did their part, the community would be a much safer place, Singh said.
Northland Indian Association teamed up with Northland DHB to organise a vaccination drive on India's Independence Day on August 15 and a follow-up on September 21, which saw an uptake of at least 250 jabs on both days.
Association chair Ralph Correa said many Indian families in Northland realised the importance of vaccination from what was happening in India with Covid at the time. "It was grim," he said.
They had seen first-hand the hardships of the pandemic, Correa said.
"We decided to get together and do our part to prevent such a situation from arising here. We managed to pass the message through to the multi-ethnic people and so we ended up getting people from the different cultural backgrounds on the day, not just Indians."
In August, when the cultural group set up the vaccination clinic, Covid was ravaging parts of the Indian sub-continent as well as countries such as South Africa and Fiji that have large Indian populations.
As of yesterday, 80.5 per cent of the eligible Fijian population (479) and 79.1 per cent of the eligible African population (368) in Northland were fully vaccinated.
"The world was suffering at the time. Many could not visit their families, and they were still coping with the effects of lockdowns. When we announced this service was available, the uptake was really good," Correa said.
Pacific people, who make up the third largest sub-group, were 82 per cent fully vaccinated, and 93 per cent have had their first dose.
Northland health officials celebrated the region hitting 80 per cent double-vaccination on Wednesday. However, it was still the least vaccinated region in New Zealand.