Māori health providers and the Whanganui District Health Board are continuing to try different approaches in the localised Covid-19 vaccination roll-out, including a stronger focus on drive-through clinics.
The Whanganui District Health Board will staff drive-through clinics on Saturday at Te Oranganui in Wicksteed Street, Whanganui, from 10am, and in Whanganui East at the Whanganui East Club, from 10am to 1pm, supported by Waka Hauora, the Health Bus. And Te Oranganui will hold a drive-through clinic next Saturday, October 2, between 10am and 2pm at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tūpoho in Castlecliff.
Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare said the vaccination rollout to Māori across the motu has reached two major milestones. More than half of eligible Māori have received their first dose and more than 25 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The Minister said the increase in Māori vaccination rates is due largely to the mahi being led by Māori health providers and approaches being driven by Māori for Māori.
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"They are leading a whānau-centred approach, providing outreach in hard-to-reach communities and taking the extra step to ensure the needs of whānau are met. We know this is critical to boosting the vaccination uptake rate and ensuring equitable outcomes for Māori."
In the Whanganui District Health Board area, Māori health providers and the DHB have led a whānau-first vaccination response, including earlier vaccination of Māori over the age of 50, walk-in clinics, marae-based programmes and whole-of-community vaccination clinics in small, rural or remote areas across the district, such as the Whanganui River Road communities.
The drive-through clinic in Whanganui on Saturday, October 2, at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tūpoho will accept drive-ins, but whānau can also book by calling 0800 202 004.
For a drive-through vaccination, whānau are being asked to stay in their vehicle, wear a mask and wear clothing that will allow easy access to the upper arm.
A DHB spokesman said the Whanganui vaccine rollout is a team effort involving the DHB, the Whanganui Regional Health Network, the Hauora Coalition and other, mainly iwi, providers.