'Would you like a vaccine with that?' that's what an Auckland councillor wants to hear as thousands of Tāmaki residents queue up for their first fast-food fix in well over a month.
At 11:59 p.m. last night the region's alert level dropped to 3, meaning takeaway outlets like McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC could reopen. Queues up to 30 cars long have been seen across the rohe.
Josephine Bartley (Maungakiekie-Tāmaki ward) says health providors including the government should be striking while the fryer’s hot, by offering the Pfizer vaccination in covid hotspots throughout the region.
“People are going be sitting in those queues, waiting for hours, [they’re] going to be in a good mood. So why wouldn't you take that opportunity, it’s right in your face,” she said.
Bartley who was the first Pacifika woman to be elected to the Auckland super city council, says the government needs to be more innovative in how it reaches out to the most at risk communities.
She says many in low uptake hot spots like Māngere, Ōtara, Manurewa and Papatoetoe are essential workers and time poor.
“Don’t just rely on the normal ways of getting to communities,” she said.
Bartley’s plan has been backed by Manukau ward councillor Efeso Collins who told Stuff while he had lobbied against new KFC outlets in Ōtara last year, vaccination needs to be the priority.
“We can’t take a one-size-fits-all and, if we’re going to reach Māori and Pasifika young peoples, communities that are typically hard to reach, then let’s do everything to reach them,” he said.
Te Ao Māori News has approached the Ministry of Health for comment on Bartley’s plan.