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The first of 16 community vaccination centres for the Southern district was opened at the Alexandra Memorial Hall, in a collaboration between Southern Health and Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora, Awarua Whanau Services, Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, Otakou Health Limited and Uruuruwhenua Health Inc.
The rollout included multiple approaches for reaching Maori and Pasifika communities, rural clinics and marae-based clinics, and the possibility for alternate delivery models as the campaign progressed.
A combination of pre-booked vaccination appointments and community drop-in sessions where families could be vaccinated together was also being employed by the centres.
Central Otago Maori community member Francie Diver said Maori and Pasifika people were more likely to respond to the whanau centred model for the vaccines as it ‘‘removed as many barriers as possible’’ for people accessing the vaccine.
SDHB associate Maori health strategy and improvement officer Nancy Todd said the approach was also an opportunity for those uncertain about receiving the vaccine to to ask questions.