Fiji Communities in Auckland rally to vaccinate their families
Auckland's Fijian and Rotuman communities are hosting a three-day vaccination campaign as part of Fiji Language Week.
Mangere Centre Park will be a sea of blue as family vehicles draped in Fiji's sky-blue emblems follow the drive through from Thursday October 7 through to Saturday October 10.
The Fiji campaign follows the success of Pacific led campaigns that have seen a sharp hike in Pacific vaccination numbers in Auckland.
Spokesperson Nacanieli Yalimaiwai says the community focused approach will help to vaccinate and protect our families against COVID19 particularly the highly infectious Delta variant.
"It brings the vaccines directly to our communities and helps overcome barriers for the most vulnerable and hard to reach in our communities."
Nacanieli says whilst the target population are Fijians, Rotumans and Indo Fijians, vaccinations will be open to everyone including students from the secondary schools and surrounding neighbourhoods.
The Rotuman community spokesperson Fesaitu Solomone says the community recognised that majority of its Rotuman community lives in Auckland and working collaboratively with the Fiji community is a great opportunity to vaccinate our people together.
“Huge opportunity to collectively participate, partner and support our Fiji communities to vaccinate our people but a magnificent way to celebrate and end the Fiji Language Week – Vosa Vakaviti in Aotearoa.”
CEO for The Fono Tevita Funaki who will be the lead clinical provider, says the objective is to turn Centre Park into a Fijian Village, provide a festive atmosphere and make people feel welcome.
"It is important to mobilise the Fijian communities to come forward and get their vaccinations."
The Fono is providing logistical support with the help of the Ministry for Health, NHRCC, Pasifika Futures, Auckland Council and Pacific Media Network.
Auckland clinician Dr Api Talemaitoga, Dr Ofa Dewes, Pacific Director of Nursing Abel Smith will manage a team of Fijian nurses and vaccinators over the three days.
Organisers aim to immunise up to a 1000 people and close the gap for the 3000 unvaccinated Fijian population. According to the latest health stats 13,900 Fijians out of 22,000 are fully vaccinated, 5000 have had one dose.
Buses will be available to transport people to and from Mangere Centre Park.
One of the newly launched Busifika VAX Buses – Bus No. 12 which is managed by The Fono has been christened The Fono Disciple due to its all-important job of providing cold storage for the Pfitzer vaccines.
All throughout the three days volunteers will deliver information about the vaccines and reminders around mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and hygiene protocols.
All volunteers and the workforce will be tested COVID 19 before the campaign kicks off on Thursday.
Nacanieli Yalimaiwai says “This is a vaccination drive by Fijians for Fijians, by Pacific for Pacific. This is what our community needs and deserves."
For more information, please call Nacanieli Yalimaiwai 021 922 689 or email@example.com.
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