17 Oct 2021

More than $80,000 donated to community mobile vaccine clinic

3:33 pm on 17 October 2021

Donations are flooding in for a community mobile clinic to vaccinate the Tairawhiti region against Covid-19.

Vaccination Centre Sign

File photo. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust set up a Givealittle page last night in response to Super Saturday, with Tairawhiti having the lowest turnout yesterday - only 912 jabs.

More than $80,000 was raised in the first 16 hours.

Trustee Ani Pahuru-Huriwai said the Trust did not expect so much public support and was "so grateful to everybody who has contributed".

"We're super excited about the response we've had from the nation."

"It means we can do a really thorough job of what needs to be done ahead of us," Pahuru-Huriwai said.

The Trust planned to undertake a five-week campaign, going door-to-door with households, and then vaccinating people at community events over summer.

Pahuru-Huriwai said vaccination in the Tairawhiti area was challenging because it was "not like the big cities that have a permanent vaccination clinic that operates every day".

She said the clinics on the east coast were well received, but "we feel that to help lift vaccination rates going door-to-door is the next strategy".

The area had "isolated pockets of whānau can't get out to the vaccination clinic", she said.

"They're not necessarily anti-vax, they just don't have the time or the means, or the vehicles; there are a lot of challenges in front of them."

The isolation was something Pahuru-Huriwai thought played into Tairawhiti's low Super Saturday turnout because "the concentration of effort happened in Gisborne, not in our coastal region".

Pahuru-Huriwai said they had been thinking of the mobile clinic before Super Saturday after seeing how well similar vaccination efforts had worked elsewhere in the country.

She hoped they would be able to start the door-to-door campaign in early November.

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