Covid-19: Vaccine vans, Che Fu and King Kapisi gig in south Auckland Labour Day jab drive

This Labour Day, south Auckland community leaders are making another massive push for vaccinations. Manurewa Marae has taken its Shot Cuzz bus and two vaccination vans out to streets with known low Covid-19 vaccination rates in Manurewa, Papakura and Māngere. It’s a first attempt at a door-to-door campaign for Auckland’s vaccination efforts, the Northern Region Health Co-ordination Centre said. READ MORE:* Covid-19: Poorly vaccinated south Auckland suburbs pass 50 per cent double-dosed* Covid-19 champions: Church leader carries weight of NZ’s biggest cluster on her shoulders* ‘It’s a perfect storm’: Foodbanks rely on corporate welfare as Pasifika struggle with Covid-19 costs Vaccinators, Māori clinicians and marae leaders gathered at the marae by Clendon Park for a karakia ahead of day one of the “Heroes on the Streets” campaign. In Papakura, the team vaccinated 30 people. When Stuff caught up with marae leader Hila Peters, the bus was in Manurewa and had already vaccinated 20 or so people, with another stop in Māngere planned.LAWRENCE SMITH/StuffClinicians and volunteers gather at Manurewa Marae in South Auckland ahead of door-to-door visits in south Auckland with the vaccination bus. Peters said most people today were receiving first doses, and were drawn out of their homes by the “familiar, brown faces” of Māori clinicians they could talk to about the vaccine.LAWRENCE SMITH/StuffMembers of the Manurewa Marae are taking vaccinations directly to those they know won’t get them without a little help. On Sunday, marae rangatahi dropped leaflets in the streets the bus would visit, so when it pulled up on Monday morning a crowd quickly gathered, Peters said. “It’s like the A-Team,” she said. “Why can’t we have this every weekend?” Alongside the bus and campervans, free coffee and icecream was available. At Rongomai Park in Flat Bush, a “Community Immunity” gig kicked off at 10am featuring performances from Che Fu, King Kapisi and local DJs. More than 100 people had been vaccinated at the event by 3pm, with around 75 per cent of them first doses, clinical lead Vicky Chan said. The team behind the event are Wero Hauora Immunisation Alliance (Werohia), a by Māori, for Māori collective determined to get vaccination rates for Māori over 95 per cent. Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen, clinical director of the National Hauora Coalition and alliance member, said the event came together in three days.Chris McKeen/StuffKing Kapisi and the Werohia team are using music to get people out of their homes and vaccinated. “Ninety per cent vaccination is too low for us, we’re going to be in harm’s way. We’re committing to getting 100 per cent of all Māori who want to be vaccinated, vaccinated. We know it’s achievable,” he said. “King Kapisi said to me, ‘What would it take to leave the house to get vaccinated?’ Music is part of it.” Among the artists who took up the call to perform are Che Fu, Rubi Du, lead singer of Three Houses Down Charlie Pome’e, Chong Nee, and TJ Taotua. Local DJs include DJ Manchoo, DJ Algoodie, DJ Styla, DJ Mateo, DJ Vincent Hanna and Emcee Oldsoul. The entire day is also playing on 88.2 FM until vaccinations wrap up at 7pm.Chris McKeen/StuffThe National Hauora Coalition and Wero Hauora Immunisation Alliance want more than 95 per cent of Māori vaccinated. Kiwi-Samoan artist King Kapisi helped rally the event, and said if New Zealand isn’t vaccinated, he and other musicians can’t get back to performing. He said if music and kai can help get people jabbed during the lockdown, he is excited to help. “The main thing for me is serving the community and making sure we can all go in the right direction and enjoy Aotearoa life.”Chris McKeen/Stuff“Ninety per cent vaccination is too low for us, we’re going to be in harm’s way,” Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen said. “This is about protecting or community, and talking to our community about the things they need to protect their whānau, their suburbs,” said Dr Bryn Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu), Werohia’s equity advisor. “They need to know because Covid’s not going away.”Chris McKeen/StuffFor the DJs and artists performing, the Labour Day event is their first stage appearance in months amid the latest outbreak of Covid-19. Pakuranga Pharmacy clinical lead and pharmacist Vicky Chan said so far 80 per cent of doses have been first doses. They included people in cars of already vaccinated whānau who needed a little more time or convincing to get over the line. “They look proud when they have been vaccinated, and it’s a good feeling,” Chan said. In Ōtara, Southseas Health Care’s youth arm Bubblegum staged yet another massive vaccine drive-in event, where the call to the Pasifika communities is to “Rally Your Village”. Following “Super Saturday”, the Labour Day event is dubbed “Mighty Monday”, with all people getting their shot given food and petrol vouchers. Cars of three or more are entered in a draw to win a $2500 travel package. By 3pm on Monday, they had vaccinated more than 620 people. Counties Manukau district health board currently has the lowest vaccination rates among the three Auckland DHBs. When all three fully vaccinate 90 per cent of their eligible populations, the government will be ready to move Auckland out of alert level 3 and into the red level of the new traffic light system.

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