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Ministry of Health Media Release: COVID-19 info vital to  vaccination programme

Ministry of Health Media Release: COVID-19 info vital to  vaccination programme

Getting the right information is an important part of the process for Whaanau, hapuu and iwi to be ready for the COVID-19 vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Maaori) Hon Peeni Henare said.

“We are seeing progress in our communities to ensure Maaori have the information and tools needed to make informed choices about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I visited a number of rohe over the last couple of months and I am heartened to see the efforts being made by iwi, and hauora providers with the support of local health practitioners to ensure whaanau have quality information about the vaccine,” Peeni Henare said.

In March the Government confirmed the timing and sequencing of an initial $39 million to ensure the COVID-19 programme had a strong focus on protecting Maaori whaanau and preparing Maaori communities for the roll out of the COVID-19 programme.

Of the $39 million there is $24.5 million for the development of community-based vaccine support services. This is allocated to a mix of vaccine support services for navigators, coordinators, champions across rangatahi, whaanau and community, and options for virtual support networks.  

Feedback from my visits and korero with Maaori showed that there were still many of our whaanau who needed more information and they took the opportunity to ask questions about the vaccination roll out including safety paatai, whether the vaccine is free and when whaanau could get vaccinated.

Maaori providers have a vital role in ensuring a whaanau-centred approach to make it easier for whaanau, hapuu and iwi to get vaccinated. The $11 million allocated to the Maaori provider fund for provider readiness will see more than 60 Maaori vaccination providers delivering services across Aotearoa. Over half of those providers have already been contracted through the Ministry of Health with the remainder expected to be contracted as the programme scales up.

“We now over 500 Maaori trained as vaccinators with 150 already active in this kaupapa. We also have more than 26,000 Maaori who have received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and over 11,000 who have received their second dose.

“As we get closer to the next phase of the vaccination roll out we want to make sure that our people have access to information that is relevant to them in their rohe and kainga to make a confident and informed decision That’s why we allocated $2 million for by  for  communications,” he said.

The fund enables a local communications response to inform iwi, whaanau, hapuu or hapori about the COVID-19 vaccination programme. A contestable fund of $1.5 million received 57 applications, representing 140 organisations, iwi and hapuu. The remaining $500,000 is allocated to the Iwi Communications Collective – 43 iwi communications practitioners working with, and for, their respective, iwi, hapuu and whaanau throughout Aotearoa.

While our communities will be working on communications locally and regionally, there is also a greater Maaori information sharing presence online.

The Ministry of Health You Tube site has a series of videos hosted by Dr Lily Fraser. The Straight Up series sees whaanau raise their paatai about the vaccine. Te Puni Kōkiri also launched a new site with trusted information to assist whaanau to make informed choices about the vaccine and a linked advertising campaign.

“As the vaccine becomes available to more groups, and all of Aotearoa from July, ensure you have the information you need to play your part in protecting our whaanau, hapuu, iwi, and whakapapa” added Minister Henare.

Posted in media release, Covid-19;

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