16 Oct 2021

Social media presence pays dividends in vaccine drive

6:19 pm on 16 October 2021

Reaching out on social media is helping to boost the number of Pasifika vaccinated in the top of the South Island.

Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust chair Sonny Alesana.

Sonny Alesana says Covid-19 cases affecting Pacific people in Auckland is also helping influence people in the top of the south to get vaccinated. Photo: RNZ/Samantha Gee

Nelson Tasman Pasifika Community Trust chair Sonny Alesana said it is trying new things and working alongside health organisations in Te Tauihu top of the south to increase vaccination coverage.

"I think social media works quite well for us so on Facebook and all of our social media we're trying to do different things that we haven't done before, TikTok, you know, all those sort of platforms that can get to our people."

More 12 to 19 year olds in the Pasifika community have had their first dose (72 percent) compared to teenagers of all ethnicities (67 percent), with the same percentage (36 percent) fully vaccinated.

Alesana said that is partly due to seeing how the latest Covid-19 outbreak has affected their community up north.

"We're following the news quite closely because of that, and a lot of the Pasifika community are those in those cases that are happening in Auckland and the North Island, so our people are seeing what's happening in the news and it's supporting our efforts here to ensure our people are vaccinated."

He said Super Saturday had come at a good time to help get more of the community vaccinated against Covid-19.

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