Greater Wellington
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Be a doer! Karawhiua National campaign launches

Published Thursday 13 May 2021

Karawhiua is a new campaign for whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori communities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The health campaign shares medical information, and real life stories from Māori with direct experience of COVID-19, to motivate others to share their own experiences, questions and opinions about getting vaccinated.

It is led by Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry for Māori Development), co-delivered by Te Hiringa Hauora (Health Promotion Agency) and supported by the Ministry of Health and the Unite Against COVID-19 teams.

Research by the Ministry of Health in February showed that 41 per cent of Māori needed more information on the vaccine, and 30 per cent did not understand the vaccine would be free. Surveys consistently show Māori are less likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine than non-Māori.

The Karawhiua campaign complements existing Unite Against Covid-19 messaging, by providing a trusted source of information.

The first stage of the seven-month campaign aims to build confidence and understanding by directing Māori to a website and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) sources where they can explore trusted information.

The campaign draws on medical information from the Ministry of Health and features Dr Mataroria Lyndon, a Northland public health doctor and senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, who has spoken to a wide range of Māori across Aotearoa about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Caring for aged care – service with a smile

Published Thursday 13 May 2021

Frontline healthcare workers and the elderly were right at the top of our priority list for vaccinations so Aged Residential Care (ARC) facility staff and residents have been one of the first groups served in the Wairarapa DHB vaccination rollout.

Our mobile team have been loving getting out and about and vaccinating our ARC communities.

Administration Lead, Rose Byl, says the team is loving the accessible work they do on the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.

“Our transported clinics are designed to take vaccinations to where they are most needed and support our priority populations in ways that suits them best,” Rose says.

“Taking to the road and being able to vaccinate on site means least disruption for people, and it is a fun way to connect with our community.”
And it seems we have the right team for the job.

“Our mobile vaccination team are so wonderful and caring,” Rose says.

“They make something that you wouldn’t expect to be much fun – getting a jab – into a really positive, warm and well supported experience.”

Image: Vaccinator Carole Wheeler provides a first dose with a smile for Lyndale staff member, Clint Love.

Promote and protect - Pasifika style

Published Thursday 13 May 2021

Wairarapa has a relatively small Pacific population, which is a great bonus when it comes to opportunities to engage.

We are lucky to have the guidance and support of the Pasifika O Wairarapa Council, which advised early on in the vaccination programme that a face to face fono was the best way to reach our Pacific community.

Taking the initiative, Pasifika O Wairarapa Chair, Luther Toloa, invited Ministers Faafoi and Sio to attend the gathering on 2 May to hear Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga and Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone discuss the vaccination programme and to support the vaccination process.

In addition to hearing from experts about the clinical and operational aspects of the programme, Immigration Minister, Kris Faafoi spoke about the misinformation that is rife in our community, urging the audience of more than 100 to “trust the science, and the people that understand that science, to guide us how we can best protect our people”.

Wairarapa MP, Kieran McAnulty, agreed and reminded us that Carterton was the first in New Zealand to report community transmission.

“Remember how scary that was?” he said. “Listening to the experts is important. It’s how we beat COVID-19.”

Wairarapa DHB is working closely with Tū Orā Compass Health and the region’s Pacific Health Navigator to ensure vaccinations are offered as early as possible for the Pacific community.

Image: From left, Mena Antonio, Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson, Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito Su’a William Sio, and Chair of Pasifika O Wairarapa Council Luther Toloa.

First accessible video shows vaccination process for the disability community

Published Thursday 6 May 2021

Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast District Health Boards leading the way with COVID-19 vaccination awareness for the disability community

The disability team at the Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast District Health Boards have produced a video to help Deaf people and disabled people visualise the process for getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The video was made by members of the our team in response to the questions we were seeing from the community asking what happens when you go through the vaccination process, and what to expect” – says Rachel Noble, General Manager Disability at Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs.

“Making these videos is a natural part of our efforts to promote an inclusive and accessible vaccination programme”.

Shannon Morris uses New Zealand Sign Language to narrate the vaccination journey taken by Stew Sexton, a wheel chair user. The video helps people to visualise what they can expect to see and experience and also to become familiar with what to expect at each stage in order to be better prepared at the time.

It also means disabled people have the chance to consider how they will navigate the physical environment and/or to check on the necessary conversations/interactions that will occur in order to be as prepared as possible.

Shannon narrates the video in NZSL, with a voice over done by a professional NZSL Interpreter. We also have captions and a written audio description transcript which describes for blind and low vision people the visuals seen in the video.

We will continue to be produce a diverse range of video and other content throughout the year to complement the material produced by the national campaign from the Ministry of Health.



Ka pai tō mahi: Ora Toa Health Services protecting the community

Published Wednesday 5 May 2021

Ngā mihi nui to kaimahi doing a great job of supporting the COVID-19 vaccination rollout for whānau close to home in Porirua.

As we get closer to the wider public vaccine rollout, Ora Toa Health Service kaimahi are already well-versed in providing vulnerable people with their doses of COVID-19 at Takapūwāhia Medical Centre.

Operated by Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, the health service will run a second clinic open across the city in Cannons Creek to help serve the broader whole-of-whānau rollout later this year.

Born and raised in Takapūwāhia, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira chairperson Taku Parai, of Ngāti Toa iwi, had his second vaccination dose on April 30.

“As we are part of the leadership team in our community, we have to set an example for the health and wellbeing of our people,” Taku said.

It was normal for people to feel some apprehension, but the best thing to do was to take action to protect themselves and their whānau.

Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs Director Māori Health Arawhetu Gray also had her second and final dose on April 30.

It was common sense to ensure vaccination clinics were available in communities “where our people need us to be”, Arawhetu said.

“It’s what many have always wanted: their care close to them.”

Arawhetu, of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Rangitane ki Wairarapa, Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Ira iwi, getting vaccinated was about putting manaaki into action.

“For me, this is the ultimate act of manaaki. Manaaki for my own whakapapa, those I work with, those I serve,” Arawhetu said.

“It’s a deep heartfelt response to doing the right thing.”

Image: Ora Toa Health Services COVID-19 vaccination team members protecting whānau at Takapūwāhia Medical Centre in Porirua.

Protecting Aged Care Residents in Upper Hutt

Published Wednesday 5 May 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations of residents and staff at aged residential care continued last week at Heretaunga rest home in Upper Hutt.

We’re working closely with Community Pharmacy vaccinators including Duncan Sutherland, pictured above in the centre at the back, from Unichem High Street Pharmacy, who is supporting the vaccination programme rollout.

Over the coming weeks, community pharmacy and GP vaccinators will administer vaccines to residents in ARC across the region – Hutt Valley, Wellington, Porirua, and Kāpiti.

Duncan, who owns and operates Unichem High Street Pharmacy, said it was an honour to be part of the programme.

"We're really lucky to be a part of it. It's a real honour the DHB called us up to help out," Duncan said.

"We've had good support from Green Cross Health and volunteer vaccinators."

Duncan has been a vaccinator for more than 10 years, working to protect people from influenza, whooping cough, MMR and now COVID-19.

Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs has commenced the COVID-19 vaccination of residents in Aged Residential Care (ARC) facilities.

Pharmacy staff often already supported rest home residents with other medication and had some understanding of their medical histories, which made the vaccination process safer and easier, he said.

Local and international evidence shows that aged residential care sites pose a high risk of tragic outcomes if COVID-19 is able to break-in.

This makes vaccination a critical protection for everyone and, by the middle of May, thousands of residents and staff across dozens of aged care facilities will have received at least one dose.

Vaccination centre blessed in Lower Hutt

Published Wednesday 5 May 2021

Te Awakairangi Health Network held a blessing ceremony on 23 April for the new Lower Hutt COVID-19 Community Vaccination Centre on High Street.

Mana Whenua, health sector leaders and community members from across the Hutt Valley joined the karakia in preparation for the official opening on 25 April.

The new location will allow hundreds of people to be vaccinated every day when the broader public rollout begins in late May—for all people aged over 65, disabled people, and those at high-risk due to health conditions. In July, vaccination will open to anyone aged 16 years or older.

Through partnerships with our PHOs such as Te Awakairangi Health Network, we have already vaccinated more than 17,000 people in our region.

New sites like this one will make sure we can vaccinate everyone by the end of the year.

Minister Hipkins enjoys post-vaccination selfie wall

Published Wednesday 28 Apr 2021

A new selfie wall designed by staff at Wellington's Regional Public Health will be rolled-out at various Community Vaccination Centres for people to enjoy after they get their dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The colourful banner, featuring the words Aroha, Community, Friends and Whānau illustrates the shared importance of getting vaccinated to protect our nearest and dearest.

The Minister took to social media to share his image where he wrote: "This morning I had my second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

"This time I didn’t have the nation’s media live-streaming the whole thing! It was quick, painless and I feel fine. The vaccine is safe and effective. Very proud to be playing my part as a member of our team of five million."

Ka pai tō mahi, Minister Hipkins.

Pacific COVID-19 vaccination programme grows

Published Wednesday 28 Apr 2021

Last week was the first full week of vaccinating for Wairarapa DHB at the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, and the first foray out into the community for the temporary COVID-19 vaccination team.

South Wairarapa Aged Residential Care residents and staff and medical practice frontline were vaccinated on site, with the team travelling by minivan.

“Our planned approach is to offer vaccinations from dedicated vaccination centres, as well as do outreach clinics to make getting a vaccination more accessible for our region,” said Sandra Williams, the Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

“We are currently vaccinating Group 2, which is a relatively small population and offers us a great opportunity to learn and to grow as we go.

"We will take advantage of any teething problems as they might arise and adapt our programme so that we can be ready to meet demand as the numbers grow in Group 3 and then out to the general public.”

101-year-old among first aged care residents to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Published Wednesday 28 Apr 2021

Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs has commenced the COVID-19 vaccination of residents in Aged Residential Care (ARC) facilities.

Over the coming weeks, community pharmacy and GP vaccinators will administer vaccines to residents in ARC across the region – Hutt Valley, Wellington, Porirua, and Kāpiti.

“The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine for Groups 1 and 2 has gone very well across our regions thanks, in large part, to our partnerships with our local PHOs,” said Hutt Valley DHB and Capital & Coast DHB director of Strategy, Planning & Performance Rachel Haggerty, who is overseeing the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

“We’re very pleased to be on track with our vaccination programme. It is clear that the vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect against COVID-19, and it is great to be able to vaccinate aged residential care residents – many of whom are vulnerable and frail – and keep them safe.”

Four aged residential care sites – Summerset on the Coast (Paraparaumu), Harbourview Rest Home and Hospital (Porirua), Vincentian Home & Hospital (Berhampore), and Parkwood Trust (Waikanae) – marked the start of the ARC rollout for the region.

Among those being vaccinated at Summerset on the Coast were 101-year-old Maisie Lund, and 92-year-old John Soeberg – who was “more than happy” to be vaccinated, and had a message to pass on to those who may be undecided.

“Any suggestion that you might not get vaccinated – you’re not being fair to others. You can feel however you want but don’t be a risk to other people,” John said.

His fellow Summerset resident William Moffat was the last to be vaccinated on the day, and said he didn’t even notice the needle.

“Because I was the last, everyone around me was yahooing and whooping with joy. I didn’t even know I’d had it.”

Residents and staff at the remaining ARC facilities across the region will receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by mid-May, with second doses to follow.