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New 0800 number aims to boost Pasifika vaccination numbers

New 0800 number aims to boost vaccination numbers in Pacific communities
New 0800 number aims to boost vaccination numbers in Pacific communities PHOTO: Prepare Pacific

A new 0800 number has launched today to make it easier for Pacific communities to book their bubbles in for their free COVID-19 vaccinations.

Run by Pacific healthcare provider South Seas, Pasifika people will be able to call 0800 21 12 21 from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week.

South Seas were operating a call centre as part of COVID Healthline services, so “it made sense to set up an 0800 number for Pacific people to call and be able to speak to a Pacific staff member,” says South Seas CEO Lemalu Silao Vaisola-Sefo.

Lemalu also believes the 0800 number is crucial in growing the number of vaccinated Pacific communities.

The 0800 number has been set up to support the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

People line up at the pop-up Covid testing station at the Assembly of God church in Mangere PHOTO: South Seas
People line up at the pop-up Covid testing station at the Assembly of God church in Mangere  PHOTO: South Seas

Pacific Lead for COVID-19 vaccinations at the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) Moananu Anna Redican Kolose says, “We’ve listened to the feedback we’ve been getting from Pacific people, who told us they wanted an easier way to book in.”

“You can call this free number now to speak to a friendly Pacific person about the vaccine, and to get yourself and your whole bubble booked in.”

“The vaccine is free, and you don’t need to be a New Zealand resident to get it.”

The team will also look to link Pasifika people with outreach events in their communities, with Pacific providers offering mobile services in the future.

The 0800 21 12 21 number is answered by Pacific staff and offers language services in Samoan, Tongan, i-Kiribati and Cook Island languages and is looking to increase this to include other Pacific languages.

The free 0800 21 12 21 number is for Pacific peoples aged 12 and over. It operates 7 days from 8am to 8pm.

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