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Tauranga, Thursday 29 July 2021

Associate Minister Of Health Visits Te Manu Toroa To See Community COVID-19 Vaccine Programme in Action

Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare visited kaupapa Maori health provider Te Manu Toroa (TMT) at their Tauranga Moana City Clinic on Thursday to learn firsthand about how the community COVID-19 vaccination roll out is going with kaupapa Māori in the Western Bay of Plenty.

The minister was accompanied by Labour MP Tamati Coffey for the visit where they were given a brief overview of the health care provider’s COVID-19 vaccination programme by TMT’s Chief Executive Officer Pat Cook, and members of her team.

As part of the Nga Mataapuna Ora (NMO) network of primary health care providers, Cook said that Te Manu Toroa was one the first general practices in the Bay of Plenty to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines, and that the Tauranga clinic was doing around 30 vaccinations a day. Pirirākau Hauora in Te Puna was also vaccinating at their clinic. 

The minister was also briefed, via teleconference, by the nursing coordinator of TMT’s mobile vaccination clinic, which was stationed in Whakatane for the day, giving around 70 Ngati Awa people their second vaccine doses, and another 20 their first vaccine doses.

“We’ve found that coordinating vaccination days with local marae and vaccinating people in their own surroundings with familiar faces around, that the uptake is quite high, particularly with the second doses,” said Cook.

“By making getting the vaccine a social ocassion, we’ve seen that people are having a good experience with the first dose, and then the word of mouth spreads out through the community, and we are now getting approached to come and revisit places and capture people who missed out the first time round,” she added.

The mobile vaccination clinic had been operating since the 2nd week of June and has vaccinated over 1,000 people in the Group 2 and Group 3 categories.