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Pacific community in Tokoroa embrace Covid-19 Immunisation Programme

Tokoroa Nurses

CEO of the South Waikato Pacific Island Community Services, Akarere Henry says the Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (CVIP) is a great example of collaboration with Waikato DHB and Raukawa Charitable Trust to help train and boost the number of vaccinators to deal with the vaccination drives in Tokoroa.

Last year, the Ministry of Health announced planning for an extra 1,600 full-time equivalent vaccinators The new CVWUS roles were established late last year to support the country’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout programme.

The new class of Covid-19 Vaccinators work in a vaccinating team and operate with a limited scope with support from a Clinical Vaccination Supervisor (CSV).

Akarere Henry says, “we have a mix of staff working together from all three partners. The candidates nominated to train to become CVWUS, many who have been involved in the CVIP in various capacities for some time, were jointly selected based on their maturity, career pathways, and a sincerity in serving their communities through this opportunity.

Sarah McFadyen, Tokoroa-based CVWUS Supervisor and Assessor says “it was great to have been involved with this first cohort of hard working and dedicated staff in Tokoroa. I’m excited for the opportunity this additional training provides for them and look forward to seeing what they do next.”

Maine Te Aroa Natua, Pacific Community Educator for South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services says the role enables her to support young Pacific people to succeed in school and life after school.

“I wanted to become a Vaccinator under supervision because my people – Pacific People are part of the most vulnerable grouping falling ill to Covid-19. I want to help them and our community to be protected as well as we could. I also saw people with so much anxiety when coming through to get their vaccinations, that I felt compelled to want to help.”

Meriol Tearetoa who is completing her studies to become a Registered Nurse says the programme has allowed her to apply the theory of study with a practical application.

“It’s why I took up nursing. I want to be able to serve with quality and utilise my pacific approach to enabling wellbeing.”

Retired staff came back to the workforce, teams of doctors, nurses and other health professionals worked long hours in clinics and in drive-through vaccination centres to help ensure kiwis are protected from Covid-19.

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