Music, food and welcoming smiles greeted members of the local Pasifika community who lined up to receive their first Covid-19 jab at Ashburton College on Sunday.
Christchurch based Pasifika provider Tangata Atumotu Trust and the Canterbury DHB set up a mobile Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the school with the aim of encouraging Ashburton’s Pacific people to get vaccinated.
Tangata Atumotu Trust general manager Carmen Collie said the Pasifika community encounters many barriers to accessing the health system.
“Taking our mobile vaccination stations into the community, to a place where people gather is one way of overcoming these barriers.”
A team of 15 people set up the mobile clinic including the construction of six separate vaccination booths.
Carmen said there was a lot of misinformation from social media circulating around the community.
“We are running a covid champions campaign, so we are putting our ministers and other community leaders in front of our community saying why it is important to do this,” she said.
EFKS Church minister Uosepi Paiaaua said he wanted to encourage all Pacific people in Ashburton to go and get a vaccine, because Covid-19 is a worldwide disease.
“The vaccine is important to prevent us from getting Covid-19 because if I am affected with Covid-19 then my wife and children and also my work can be, it is better for us to be protected.”
The mobile clinic returns in a few weeks for the second jab.
By Daniel Tobin