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Weekly Update Issue 31 - Thursday 18 November, 2021

76% (up 5.6%) of Taranaki people are fully vaccinated
88% (up 2.3%) of Taranaki people have received their first dose

58% (up 11.5%) of Taranaki Māori are fully vaccinated
75% (up 4.2%) of Taranaki Māori have received their first dose

73% (up 8.1%) of Taranaki Pacific people are fully vaccinated
89% (up 3.5%) of Taranaki Pacific people have received their first dose

doses have been administered to people living in Taranaki

first doses to go to reach 90% 

(as of Nov 16, 2021)

Taranaki Programme Weekly Update

The discovery of six positive COVID-19 cases in Stratford at the end of last week signalled a very busy weekend for our teams, with our vaccination hubs and pop-up clinics seeing a constant stream of Taranaki people coming in for their vaccination.

This has seen our number rise once more, with 88% of the eligible people in Taranaki now having received at least one dose, and three-quarters now fully vaccinated. This leaves just over 2,000 people to go to reach the 90% milestone – a crucial number as the country looks to move into the new traffic light system.

Our Māori partner-providers and local iwi are also doing fantastic mahi reaching out to whānau, with three-quarters now having received a first dose. We also see a huge increase in the number of Māori now fully vaccinated at 58% - an increase of 11.5% on last weeks' figures - tino pai!  We will all continue to work together to address concerns and misinformation, reassure those who may be anxious, and find ways of breaking down those barriers that stop people from accessing their vaccination.

We know that if there is an outbreak in Taranaki, our Māori communities would carry the brunt of the impact, so it is important that anyone who has still not received their first dose does so.

We can all do our bit to help our vaccinators by talking to our friends and family about getting vaccinated and encouraging anyone who may have concerns or worries to talk to the clinical experts, either at our main vaccination centres, at any pop-up clinics, by calling their GP or preferred health provider, or contacting their iwi for support.

Booster shots start Nov 19

Booster shots have now been approved by Medsafe for those aged 18 and over who completed their two-dose primary course at least six months ago.

The boosters will be available from Monday 29 November, with the expectation that around 450,000 eligible people nationwide will receive one before Christmas.


Medical exemptions

The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No3) 2021 came into effect on Sunday, 7 November.

This amendment outlines how temporary medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination can be given. If you believe you fit the criteria for an exemption, please contact your GP or preferred healthcare provider.

AstraZeneca roll out

While the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to be the primary vaccine used in New Zealand, from 26 November, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be available as an alternative option.

It is intended for people who cannot have the Pfizer vaccine for medical reasons (estimated only to be a few hundred people) and those who need to be immunised against Covid-19 because of the nature of their work (like healthcare workers), but who have other reasons not to have the Pfizer vaccine.

If you wish to receive this vaccine, you need to book via, which will give you the option to choose AstraZeneca. The ability to book will be availble soon.

Strengthening responsiveness to Māori

A huge welcome to Eileen Hall who has joined the Taranaki COVID-19 Vaccination Programme as the Pou Haumanu – Māori Pandemic Response and Equitable Outcomes Lead.

Eileen is part of Te Pā Harakeke – the Māori Health and Equity Directorate. 

She provides clinical and strategic leadership within the TDHB, focusing on development, implementation and refinement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led and pro-equity approaches that strengthen responsiveness to Māori and achieve equitable outcomes across the pandemic programmes.

Her varied TDHB background includes work as a registered nurse, and a vision and hearing technician. 

She represents Ngāti Maru on Te Whare Pūnanga Kōrero trust, our Iwi Maōri Partnership Board in Taranaki. Eileen is also on her te reo māori journey and shares that with her gorgeous two-year-old mokopuna.

Covid-19 vaccination rates around New Zealand

Check out this cool map showing the different vaccination rates across Aotearoa. You can enter your address to see what's happening in your rohe, as well as taking a look at some of the other areas of the country.

My Vaccine Pass

You can now access proof of vaccination through the My Covid Record website.
The process involves creating a My Health Account and it provides two different certificates – one for use in New Zealand and one for travel overseas. 
The site will also provide information about any COVID-19 tests you may have taken.

You can only create a My Health Account if you are aged 16 or over. Those aged 12 to 15 who require proof of vaccination (for example, for overseas travel) can request a confirmation letter from the Ministry of Health. 

Good times and vaccinations at Family Fun Day

It was great to see many smiling faces during the Family Fun Day and Community Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic on November 7.

There was plenty on offer with a sausage sizzle, ethnic foods, face painting, henna designs, spot prizes, and gift hampers, and the mobile COVID-19 vaccination team was on-site to answer questions and administer vaccinations.

The event, which was held at Nobs Line, New Plymouth, was hosted by Migrant Connections and Taranaki Multi-Ethnic Council and supported by Taranaki DHB and Ministry for Ethnic Minorities.

Scared of needles?

A fear of needles is very common, affecting at least one in 10 people, and is nothing to be ashamed of. Our lovely team are very used to supporting people with a needle phobia, so don't let it stop you getting your vaccination.

There are also some simple exercises you can do to help overcome this fear.  

Take a look at this cool animation - it has some good advice that can help getting your jab a bit less scary.

Tui Ora reach their 10,000 jabs milestone

Our fantastic Māori partner provider Tui Ora has hit the outstanding milestone of 10,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses administered!

Their awesome kaimahi have been on board with the programme from the very beginning, and we have enjoyed working closely with them to support and enable the outreach work they do.

But the team are not planning on slowing down - Hayden Wano, Tui Ora Chief Executive, is encouraging any whānau still to receive a vaccination not to delay as it provides the best protection against serious illness from the virus.

Robyn Taylor, Tui Ora Clinical Nurse Leader, says that anyone with concerns about the vaccine can visit a clinic, where they can get advice and information from clinically-trained staff.

“We’ve had some people just come in for a kōrero and then go away and think about it, maybe do some more research and then they come back and tell us they are ready,” she says.

Images, clockwise from top: Tui Ora kaimahi at Onuku Taipari Domain, Waimirirangi MacDonald and Evelyn Colegate, and Kiritahanga Maxwell and Bonnie Maxwell Thompson.
If you are hāpu and have concerns about getting vaccinated, check out this ‘vaccine and pregnancy’ Facebook Live discussion. Lots of questions addressed and valuable kōrero shared. 

There is also loads of information here COVID-19 vaccine: Pregnancy and breastfeeding | Ministry of Health NZ
Don't forget you can still book an appointment at one of our main vaccination centres, with one of our GP or pharmacy partner-providers, or with your Māori health provider - whatever works for you!
It is so easy to do - the online booking portal Book My Vaccine makes the process very straightforward - and has a booking availability tool so you can see at a glance where clinics are and what appointment times they have free. 
Check out if your doctor is offering COVID-19 vaccinations at Healthpoint.


The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) has a new website dedicated to COVID-19.

The app Āwhina lets you access information from the Ministry of Health and other trusted sources on your mobile device and sends out notifications on key COVID-19 vaccine announcements. You can download Āwhina here

The MoH COVID-19 Vaccine Resources page is full of useful information, frequently asked questions and also fact sheets in multiple languages

Data and statistics about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in New Zealand can be found here.

HealthPathways platforms nationwide have published (or will soon publish) COVID-19 Vaccination Information pages. General practices can log into their local HealthPathways site to access this useful information.

Government cyber security agency CERT NZ has published guidance on how to protect your organisation when communicating about the vaccine on CERT NZ’s website.

Unite Against COVID-19 contains a multitude of resources on the COVID-19 vaccine, including the latest government announcements.

Medsafe’s website has COVID-19 vaccine approval information and vaccine reports.

Medsafe also publishes data sheets and consumer medicine information for approved COVID-19 vaccines.

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TDHB · David Street · New Plymouth, Taranaki 4310 · New Zealand

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