Weekly Update Issue 33 - Thursday, 02 December, 2021

82% (up 3.8%) of Taranaki people are fully vaccinated
90% (up 1.1%) of Taranaki people have received their first dose

65% (up 6.6%) of Taranaki Māori are fully vaccinated
80% (up 2.6%) of Taranaki Māori have received their first dose

80% (up 5.3%) of Taranaki Pacific people are fully vaccinated
94% (up 3.3%) 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 30, 2021. Percentages indicate increase over the last seven days)

Taranaki Programme Weekly Update

Taranaki people give yourselves a pat on the back – we’ve passed 90% of first doses to protect our region’s population against COVID-19.

Around the world we’ve seen COVID’s ability to evolve and develop new variants. Vaccination offers our best chance of protection as a community.

Over the centuries, the statistics tell a sorry tale of past endemics and pandemics. Some of you may have seen or experienced the effects of poliovirus – one of the more recent viruses to internationally wreak havoc on people’s lives.

The difference now is that we have social media, where we’ve witnessed rapid spread of misinformation.

Fortunately, we’re seeing vast uptakes of vaccination in New Zealand compared to many other countries.

We’re a small nation with fewer resources than our larger, richer counterparts, so a higher vaccination rate will pay dividends when COVID-19 cases really do start climbing in the community.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in the effort. Together, as health providers and the wider community, we stand against COVID-19.

Bevan Clayton-Smith, COVID-19 Vaccination Programme senior responsible officer, says the 90% first-dose milestone should be acknowledged, not only for the mahi it has taken from the DHB vaccination team, Māori health providers, GPs and community pharmacies, but for what it represents for the people of Taranaki.

Māori vaccination effort climbing in Taranaki

First doses for Māori are at 80%, with vaccination rates accounting for almost a quarter of all vaccinations administered over the past week.

Second doses are also increasing, at 65%, says COVID-19 Vaccination Programme senior responsible officer Bevan Clayton-Smith.

Tui Ora, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāruahine have been making inroads with boosting vaccination numbers in the Māori community. 

“It is humbling to see how everyone across Taranaki is pulling together to deliver the results we need to keep everyone safe as mandates come into effect, borders begin to open up and new variants make their presence known,” says Mr Clayton-Smith.

“Reaching at least 90% for Māori would be the best Christmas present ever in my book.”

AstraZeneca now available at a clinic near you

While the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to be New Zealand’s primary vaccine, AstraZeneca is now available as an alternative.

It is for those who cannot have the Pfizer for genuine medical reasons and those who need immunisation due to the nature of their work (like healthcare workers), but have other reasons not to have the Pfizer vaccine.

AstraZeneca clinics are being held on Wednesday evenings from 5pm to 8pm at the New Plymouth Vaccination Centre (109 Powderham Street) and Hāwera Vaccination Centre (TSB Hub, Camberwell Road).

You’ll need to book your vaccine and if you’ve already had a Pfizer dose you’ll need to speak with your health provider and get a prescription.


Time for a boost against COVID-19!

You can now get your booster shot, as long as it’s been six or more weeks since your second immunisation.

These doses are available at a walk-in clinic, pharmacy or your GP – or book an appointment at BookMyVaccine.nz.

If you can't book online, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am to 8pm, seven days a week) to make a booking or have any questions answered. Interpretation services are available if needed.
The Māori vaccination effort has been going door-to-door in Taranaki, with Stephanie Kettle (above) one of the team members checking in on Māori as part of a Covid-19 recovery response. Read all about it here. Photo: Robin Martin / RNZ

Summer sizzlers and countryside chatter 

Rural COVID-19 vaccination barbecues are being held in Kapuni and Te Wera this week.

Call in for your first, second or booster dose between 6pm and 8.30pm tonight (Thursday, 2 December) at Kapuni Hall, Manaia Rd or tomorrow (Friday, 3 December), same time, at Te Wera Holiday Park, 3560 Ohura Rd.

The barbecue will be on and our friendly vaccination team will be available to chat about any worries or concerns you may have.
Clockwise from top: Helpers and players at the Opunake event; (from left) basketballer Richie Rodger, Mountainair Ben Carlile-Smith and Tall Blacks Head Coach Pero Cameron at Opunake; Pero with young basketball fans at Hawera.  

Basketball tournament a slam-dunk success

More than 60 teams showed up for the Shot Whanau three-on-three basketball tournament over the past week.

The event, which featured three age groups, was a collaboration between the Taranaki Steelformers Mountainairs basketball team, Basketball Taranaki, Basketball New Zealand and Taranaki DHB, and took place at five venues across the region.

It was an opportunity to play, enjoy food and live music, get a COVID-19 jab if wanted, and meet Tall Blacks Head Coach Pero Cameron and some of the wider Mountainairs team.

“We managed the basketball side of the event
– administration and refereeing,” says Mountainairs General Manager Mitchell Langton. “Some of the boys even jumped in and played on the teams.”

He was pleasantly surprised by the turnout, given how quickly it was put together.

“I think it was very successful. We had a decent rate of first (COVID-19 immunisation) doses. The environment was great. All the boys enjoyed themselves and it seemed like the players did, too."

Giveaways included Mountainairs merchandise, a Tall Blacks singlet signed by Pero, season passes to Mountainairs games, and Frontrunner vouchers.

Thanks to everyone who took part or helped run the event. It was good to see the rangatahi having fun and taking responsibility for protecting themselves and their whanau.  

Super Rāhoroi protecting the people

The sun shone for a third consecutive Tui Ora Super Rāhoroi last Saturday with 149 people vaccinated across pop-ups in Waitara and Ngāmotu.

Of the 101 people vaccinated in Waitara, 56% were Māori, and in Ngāmotu, 65% were Māori. 

Whānau who attended were treated to a $20 Pak 'n Save voucher and also got to enter a draw for major prizes and walk out with their bellies full of free 'fresh fruit' ice-cream, kawhe and sausages off the barbecue.

It was a stellar job done by all kaimahi who gave up their time to awhi the kaupapa and protect their whakapapa. 

On Monday evenings Tui Ora will operate an RV at St James' Church on Lawry Street from 4pm to 9pm in partnership with 'On the House', a local organisation that distributes surplus food back to the community. For each person vaccinated, $20 will be donated to On the House.

Photo: Tamati Neho's son Manawa with his fresh fruit ice-cream at Ngamotu.
Nans from the Māori Women’s Welfare League will have a cuppa and helping hand ready while Tui Ora nurses check tamariki and provide their immunisations.
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.

Contact us at communications@tdhb.org.nz