Super Waikato weekend, swabs, vaccine updates

Jamaine Paikea took advantage of the testing facilities outside the Te Awamutu Events Centre. Waikato DHB nurse Ana Zafra, from
Hamilton, pictured taking a swab, has spent much of the year on the front line helping with the fight.

4.30pm 24 November 2021 –

“Mā wai rā, e taurima te marae I waho nei. Mā tātou katoae taurima”

Pop-up vaccination sites, drive-throughs, prizes, extended hours, music and kai are on offer to encourage our Māori whānau and all who have not had their shot to join in the fun and come along for their COVID-19 vaccinations this Saturday (27 November) and Sunday (28 November).

Waikato DHB Commissioner, Dame Karen Poutasi says this is a key initiative for Waikato.

Retiring Iwi Maori council Chair – Te Pora Thompson-Evans is proud of the progress made with our kaumātua being 95% vaccinated, but says there much mahi still needed.

“We are encouraging our younger generation – our rangatahi and pakeke to come forward and achieve 90% to ensure our whakapapa will be looked after and those who are most vulnerable are protected – our pēpi, our mokopuna, our kaumātua and our whānau with underlying health conditions.”

Being vaccinated drastically reduces the risk of serious illness and lowers the chances of transmission within our community and to those who are unable or yet to be vaccinated.

“If you still have questions, come down and have a chat with one of our health professionals” Thompson-Evans says. “There’ll be no hard sell, just plenty of answers so you have the information you need to make up your own mind.”

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki chief executive Riana Manuel has a strong message or encouragement to people this weekend.

“Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui Pare Hauraki.  Let’s protect our whakapapa and get our whānau vaccinated this weekend, mō tātou o Hauraki.”

Waikato’s kaupapa Māori providers, the DHB, community houses, councils, and churches are all doing their part to help Māori reach 90% vaccination rates. This is part of the intensive planning that has continued throughout the vaccination programme.

Chair of Waikato-Tainui, Linda Te Aho, encourages whānau to come out and get vaccinated so they can continue to enjoy these sorts of events as summer approaches and at the same time, protect their whānau and friends.

With borders due to open in December, we are going all out to push up Māori vaccination numbers to reach 90%. Currently, 90.1% of the overall Waikato population have received their first dose and 81.4% are fully vaccinated. But only 79.5% of our Māori population have received their first dose, needing a further 7102 people to reach the 90% first dose target. Te Aho says, “we can go a long way to achieving this milestone in one weekend if we go all-in.”

People can go to around 20 events across the takiwā this weekend without a booking. Anyone aged over 12 who hasn’t been vaccinated yet or had their first vaccination at least three weeks ago can drop in and get vaccinated on the spot.

Across the different locations there will be free food, entertainment, spot prizes and more, plus the chance for people to do their bit to protect their community, whānau and themselves.

Earlier story

Te Awamutu and Kihikihi residents now need to call ahead for a Covid swab following the closure of the community testing station at the Events Centre.

There were only four active Covid cases in Te Awamutu/Kihikihi yesterday and one in Cambridge.

Numbers in neighbouring Ōtorohanga and Te Kuiti continue to pop up.

This easing in Waipā cases comes as the district leads the way among all Waikato territorial authorities and edges towards the 90 per cent fully vaccinated target.

Nearly 45,000 residents 12 years and over (93.1%) have had their first dose while 41,425 have had their second dose (86%).

Two iwi vaccination events are being held this weekend.

The first on Saturday for rangatahi (teenagers) at the Te Awamutu Vaccination Centre in Arawata Street from 11am-7pm and the second in Kihikihi on Sunday at 50 Lyon Street from 10am-3pm.

Casual and registered people wanting swabs can call the Te Awamutu-Mahoe Medical Centre or the Te Awamutu Medical Centre to arrange a time.

In the Waikato region, public health staff are now supporting 143 cases to isolate at home.

This brings the total number of cases during this Waikato outbreak to 361 (186 active, 175 recovered) with 32 active cases remaining under investigation for links.

 

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