The Government is providing a $1.5 million dollar boost to the Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund. This will directly support Pacific community-led initiatives to encourage boosters and child vaccinations, said the Associate Minister of Health Aupito William Sio.
“The vaccine plays an important part in our preparations for Omicron. We need to ensure our 5–11-year-old Pacific children are vaccinated and that all of our eligible Pacific peoples get their booster when they become due. It’s critical that we vaccinate our children before the coming winter .
“We’ve seen overseas how fast Omicron can overwhelm health care systems and impact essential services. Vaccination is the first step our families can take to prepare for Omicron.
“The Pacific community’s response to vaccinations has been excellent. National vaccination figures show that 97 percent have received their first dose, and 94 percent are fully vaccinated with two doses.
“However, data for booster uptake shows Pacific rates are still low in comparison with other communities in Aotearoa. Only 32 percent of Pacific people due for a booster have received one so far compared to 42 percent of Māori.
“It’s important our Pacific communities continue with their great response to vaccinations. This top up of the Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund will ensure our communities have the resources to achieve the high vaccination rates we need to keep safe,” said Aupito William Sio.
Pacific community groups predominantly in Tāmaki Makaurau can apply for funding although groups from around Aotearoa are welcome to apply.
Community groups, Pacific churches, Pacific youth groups and other groups that work with marginalised Pacific communities will be eligible to apply for up to $40,000.
The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund, which is being managed by The Cause Collective, will run until 30 June 2022 or when funds have been fully distributed.
“Through this fund we are asking our Pacific communities to prepare for Omicron by getting your booster and vaccinating our young children. Omicron will challenge all of us, we will need to be ready in advance. We’ve met the challenge many times before, we must meet it again,” said Aupito William Sio.
The Cause Collective is a social change organisation focused on the wellbeing of Pacific peoples and South Auckland communities. www.thecausecollective.org.nz
The organisation runs the Prepare Pacific campaign for the Northern Region’s District Health Boards Covid-19 Pacific Response in Auckland. www.preparepacific.nz and https://www.facebook.com/preparepacific