Tairāwhiti essential workers will receive flu vaccinations this week

By Taroi Black

Several hundred essential workers in Tairāwhiti are to receive hundreds of influenza vaccinations from Tūranga Health.

The efforts by the Maori health provider on the coast follow the initiative by nurses to vaccinate 400 whānau, in particular pakeke 65-years and over, those with long term conditions and frontline health staff.

CEO Reweti Ropiha told Te Ao Māori News the priority now is working and assisting essential workers in various primary industries in Tūranga, “Working with them in getting the flu shots rolled out with their staff as well, so lots of them are classified as essential services.”

Local businesses, varying from 15 key primary industries such as fisheries, farming and agriculture, will be supported by Tūranga Health, who are working alongside the local Hauora Tairāwhiti District Health Board.

The response is to ensure essential workers are being backed during the COVID-19 lockdown so that they are not overlooked at this time, Ropiha says.

Each industry consists of 60 to 80 essential workers helping to assist the 49,800 population living in the region.

“They’re doing the hard yards so we thought other than working with the vulnerable population and doing the work that we’re doing at the moment we can broaden that.”

Before New Zealand went into COVID-19 level 4 alert, Tūranga Health worked closely with local whānau to provide 200 food parcels and deliver 1100 hygiene buckets to whānau in Muriwai and Matawai.

Each bucket had soap, multi-purpose wipes, a disposable rubbish bag and COVID-19 information.

Ngāti Porou Hauora also worked overtime to prepare for the lockdown as hundreds of wellness checks for uri were provided, as well as social and health services during this time of the crisis.

Ropiha says their service will have up to 12 groups stationed in the region this week to provide flu vaccinations.