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‘Vaxi vans’ launched in time for Saturday’s nationwide vaccination day

With the nationwide ‘vaccination day’ set for October 16, a roll-out of ‘vaxi vans’ has launched to help healthcare providers get to communities and rural areas easier.

Forty four campervans have been refurbished into ‘vaxi vans’ and equipped with cold storage for Covid-19 vaccines and other equipment needed to set up for quick roadside vaccinations.

NRHCC Vaccination Programme Director Matt Hannant says the campervans “are another great way to get to some of those harder to reach places on the edges of Tāmaki Makaurau and to those people who have not yet been able to get their vaccinations”.

“It is more crucial than ever that we keep providing new ways to get people vaccinated, particularly when we are continuing to see new COVID-19 cases across the city.”

“These smaller, more agile vehicles will help our provider partners to get to many of our rural communities or places where people don’t have easy transport options. It will also provide them with the flexibility to move to new locations around the city a lot quicker.”

According to recent Ministry of Health data, national vaccination rates for Māori and Pasifika 65 years and over are much higher than other age groups in the same ethnicity. CE of Manurewa Marae Takutai Natasha Moana Kemp says families are still anxious and unsure about getting vaccinated.

Vaccination Van
Forty four campervans have been converted into ‘vaxi vans’, travelling into communities that might not have easy access to vaccinations. Photo: NHRCC

The vaxi vans give people “access to our nurses, to our great kaimahi who work in the Covid space who can answer their questions.”

“Getting out into the community, being mobile allows us to be in their space. In a space that they feel safe and that they trust.”

CE of Turiki Health Care Te Puia Winiata adds that by using the campervans, they and other healthcare providers can work “in a very agile way”.

“We can do testing, we can do vaccinating, we can also spend time with people just talking about testing and why it’s important and why vaccination is important.”

Eleven of the campervans were picked up by Māori, Pacific and primary care providers and will begin operating around Auckland within the coming weeks.

This Saturday’s ‘National Day of Action’ will see vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies open late to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

A number of pop-up events will be held this week in a range of locations. Vaccination buses and campervans will also be around local communities to provide opportunities for vaccinations closer to home.

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