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Sports leaders unite to increase Pasifika vaccination rates

mangere vaccination event with pasifika sports stars

Ann-Tauilo Motuga | Reporter/Videographer

A return to normalcy and enjoying summer sports is the motivation behind a Māngere East vaccination pop-up drive-through launching tomorrow.

The ‘Stay in the game! Get your shot!’ initiative is run by the Pasifika Sports Collective, a group of Pasifika sports leaders who are uniting to push vaccination rates for local and Pacific communities.

Former All Black great Namulauulu Alama Ieremia is among the cohort encouraging others to get vaccinated.

“From a sporting point of view and obviously summer coming up, you know, we’re Pacific people; we love outside, and we need to be amongst each other,” Ieremia told 531pi.

“We’re people that come together, and if we can’t come together, then I can just imagine the social problems that come with that as well.”

With over 30 sporting organisations involved, organisers aim to get Pasifika closer to the 90% vaccination target that will see Auckland move into the ‘Red’ system of the new Covid-19 Protection Framework.

As of November 3rd Auckland’s Pacific vaccination rate for second doses is 70%, compared to 86% of the overall Auckland population; Counties Manukau’s Pacific rate is sitting at 69%, compared with an overall rate of 78%; Waitemata’s Pacific rate is at 71%, with an overall vaccination rate of 82%.

By reaching the 90% vaccination target, there is a chance our sports athletes and organisations can make a return.

“I think we will be behind a little bit in getting engaged in sports,” former Silver Ferns player Linda Vagana told 531pi. “It’s really looking at our communities, our parents and those that sit at the decision-making tables — making sure that they really understand what our communities do and what’s going to get us out and be active in sports.

Those receiving their jab at this week’s ‘Stay in the game! Get your shot!’ event will experience a live DJ and MC, as well as volunteers blowing bubbles dressed up in fancy dress. Incentives will also be provided as a reward for helping to keep Aotearoa safe.

The event welcomes drive-throughs and walk-throughs with no appointments needed. It runs from Friday 5th November to Saturday 6th November from 9am – 4pm at 10 Hain Avenue, Māngere East, Auckland.

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