An innovative approach by Hamilton's Melville Primary School saw parents and teachers day combined with a pop-up vaccination clinic run by Pacific Island community Trust K'aute Pasifika.
K'aute Pasifika started running regular vaccination clinics at its offices in June, but chief executive Leaupepe Rachel Karalus says over time, the number of people coming through has dropped dramatically.
"This showed us that our current approach is not working anymore, so we are trying to adapt our model and bring the clinic to the community."
K'aute Pasifika health team leader and Registered Nurse Terereawai Kipa-Kearns says Melville Primary School approached the trust.
"[The school] asked us whether we would like to hold a vaccination clinic during parents and teachers day on Tuesday afternoon, encouraging the parents and staff to get the jab while they are waiting and are already on the premises."
Since the start of its clinics, K'aute Pasifika has vaccinated 3398 people. At the Melville pop-up clinic, only four people came in to get their jab.
"But our motto is that even if we only get one person per clinic, that's an achievement," Kipa-Kearns says.
One of the people coming to get the jab on Tuesday was Martine Donnella, 55. "I look after nine of my grandchildren ... I always wanted to get the jab, but I just never got around to it. So when I received a notice from the school about parent and teachers day and the clinic, I thought I can get the jab while I am already here."
She says she is happy to finally get the vaccine. "I don't care what other people think. I think [the vaccine] is beneficial for me and my kids. I'd rather take precautions and protect my family."
Meanwhile, Mareikura Murphy, another parent coming to speak to her children's teachers was still a bit wary about the vaccine.
"I was a bit scared, because of the needles and the numerous speculations about the vaccine. But I had a lot of family telling me to do it, especially my nan."
And the positive outweighed her fear. "I am glad I got it done," she says.
The pop-up clinic at Melville Primary School was not the only one K'aute Pasifika has hosted. The trust also had events at the University of Waikato, the Waikato Migrant Centre and the Jamia Masjid Mosque. Within the next coming weeks, K'aute Pasifika is working on making its vaccination clinics mobile.
Kipa-Kearns says most of the people coming into the clinics to get their jabs are walk-ins.
"Lots of people are unsure. There is a lack of trust. People have lots of questions, so we are not only trying to bring the clinics to the people, we are also educating. We have been going into churches and hosted fono (meetings) with Pacific doctors."
In her view, the solution to get more members of the Maori and Pasifika community vaccinated is education. "To answer questions and to make people more comfortable."
All New Zealanders are getting the same vaccine named Pfizer/BioNTech. The Pfizer vaccine is different to most traditional vaccines because it is a 'messenger RNA' vaccine (mRNA) which means these vaccines don't use virus cells at all.
Instead they contain a piece of RNA code that teaches your body to recognise the virus, so your body is ready to respond straight away if you get sick.
The vaccine will not give you Covid-19 and there is no possibility it could affect your DNA and genes. The chance of you having a severe allergic reaction is also very rare, but if you do, the vaccinators have been trained to respond immediately and know exactly what to do.
Most vaccination clinics welcome walk-ins, but if you definitely want to make sure you receive your jab, you can book in advance.
There are numerous places within Hamilton and the Waikato, where people can get their dose of the vaccine, including GP practices and pharmacies.
Dedicated vaccination clinics include:
• Hamilton Te Awa Vaccination Centre - Te Awa The Base
Level 1, Corner Te Rapa Rd & Wairere Drive, Hamilton
Open from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm
• Morrinsville Vaccination Centre - Campbell Hall, Knox Presbyterian Church
45-49 Canada St, Morrinsville
Open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am to 5pm, Thursday from 12pm to 7pm and Friday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
• Cambridge Vaccination Centre - Cambridge Community Marae, Nga Hau E Wha
Pope Tce, Leamington, Cambridge
Open Monday, Tuesday and Saturday from 9am to 5pm
• Thames Vaccination Centre - Goldfields Shopping Centre
100 Mary Rd, Thames
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 4.30 pm
• Te Awamutu Vaccination Centre
244 Arawata St (Former Bunnings site), Te Awamutu
Open from Wednesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
• Matamata Vaccination Centre - St Johns Hall
32 Rawhiti Ave, Matamata
Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 5pm, Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday from 9am to 3pm
• Waikato Hospital (Ryburn) Vaccination Centre, Ryburn Building,
Ryburn Rd, Waikato Hospital Campus, Hamilton
Open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm
• Tokoroa Whare Rongoā Āraimate Community Vaccination Centre
203 Leith Pl, Tokoroa
Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 4pm and Thursday from 11am to 6pm
• Tokoroa Whare Rongoā Āraimate Community Vaccination Centre, SWPICS drive-through
1 Maraetai Rd, Tokoroa
Open Saturday from 10am to 3pm
For more places offering vaccinations in the Waikato click here.
To check the availability of appointments click here.