The Super Waikato Weekend wero to give the Māori vaccination rate a boost has been successful, the Waikato DHB says, with 1230 Māori being vaccinated.
The DHB launched the weekend with 6672 first vaccinations still needed to reach the 90 per cent first vaccination rate for Māori. Across the two days on November 27 and 28, 1230 Māori were vaccinated, of which 421 received their first dose.
Waikato Covid-19 programme lead Maree Munro said the weekend's numbers were extremely positive. "It's so important we get as many of the community vaccinated as we can before borders open up and summer gets fully under way. This weekend's results show the message is definitely getting out there."
She said the DHB was not disappointed at all to reach only a small number of the overall target. "We'd always like to do more vaccinations but this is a great effort for just one weekend. These special events help us to engage with the community and they're important, but so is the day-in-day-out effort across all our vaccination sites.
"In only seven days we've reduced the number of first doses needed to get to 90 per cent by almost 1500. It's now 5732. We've done that by making first doses for Māori an everyday priority for the DHB and our providers," Munro says.
Over half the first doses on Sunday were Māori and overall, 3080 vaccinations were delivered across the region as the Waikato community gears up to enter the new traffic light system on the orange setting this Friday.
The weekend included drive-through sites and pop-ups in shopping malls, skate parks, sports grounds and carparks. More than 25 events were held across the takiwā over the weekend, with people able to drop in and be vaccinated on the spot, and music, kai and prizes encouraging the crowds.
Waikato also has over 70 fixed sites offering vaccinations and a busy mobile programme taking vaccinations into neighbourhoods with low rates.
Raukura Hauora o Tainui was on the ground in Ōtorohanga and also vaccinated in their Hamilton clinic in Nawton over the weekend.
CEO Terina Moke said the team went door to door in nine streets in Ōtorohanga. "We vaccinated 13 people and I'm confident that if we hadn't turned up at their door to kōrero and offer information and encouragement, those 13 people would never have been vaccinated."
Moke said the partnership approach, with two Māori organisations working together, worked well and helped the clinic deliver almost 200 vaccinations over the weekend.
Retiring Iwi Māori council chair Te Pora Thompson-Evans said the success of the weekend demonstrated the importance of working collaboratively and finding the right approach.
"We went into the vaccination programme knowing we needed to really pay attention to our community's views and to meet people on their own terms. This was a great collaborative effort, and it shows that if we work together and do the mahi to engage directly with Māori, we can achieve fantastic results."
Munro says that with the weekend gone, the DHB would not stop to encourage the region's Maori communities to get their jab.
"We'll continue to be visible in the community, to make it easy for people to be vaccinated, to work with our partner providers, community groups and local leaders – all of the things we've been doing so far and that are getting us there, day by day and dose by dose."
The latest data from the Ministry of Health, including weekend vaccinations, shows 82 per cent of Māori in Waikato have now had their first dose and 67 per cent are fully vaccinated. Nationally 82 per cent of Māori have had their first dose and 68 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Of the eligible Waikato population overall, 91 per cent have had their first dose and 83.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Today's update from the Waikato DHB shows eight new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the Waikato overnight, with four in Te Kūiti, one in Huntly, one in Hamilton, one in Ngāruawāhia, and one in Te Awamutu.
Five of today's cases have been linked to previous cases and the remaining three are under investigation.
One case which remained under investigation yesterday has now been confirmed as in Taupiri. The total number of cases Waikato is now 449 (157 active and 292 recovered). There are 40 active cases remaining under investigation.
Two new locations of interest were confirmed in Hamilton yesterday.
There are six pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating across Waikato today in Hamilton, Ngāruawāhia, Ōtorohanga, Thames and Te Kūiti.
There are three Covid-19 positive patients in hospital, including two in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
There were 2160 tests processed in the Waikato yesterday and 2871 vaccinations delivered.
In the Waikato, public health staff are now supporting 118 cases to isolate at home.