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Te Puke Times - 2021-10-14

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Vaccinated family looking at ‘end game’

FRONT PAGE

Megan Wilson

One Paengaroa family made a special outing together to get their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Ross and Michelle Sullivan, along with their teenage children, Sophie and James, got vaccinated at a Maketu Hauora drive-through clinic during alert level 3. Ross Sullivan said the drivethrough set-up was “excellent” and his family felt “safe and protected all at the same time”. “They were well organised, they were very friendly and they made sure everyone was okay and that there were no adverse reactions to the vaccine,” he said. “It was only a minor prick . . . it was a little needle. They were very gentle when they did it.” Sullivan said he was “not at all” hesitant about the vaccine and urged people to “do it not only for yourselves but also for the vulnerable members of the community”. “We need to look at the end game for us as a country.” Getting vaccinated was important for New Zealand to “move on and get away from constant lockdowns and restrictions”, he said. “The more people who are vaccinated, the lower risk to the wider community.” Achieving a 90 per cent vaccination rate was important to avoid “unfortunate outcomes for a lot of people”, he said. Maketu Health and Social Services chief executive Shontell Peawini said the drive-through was set up in collaboration with Poutiri Trust and was “a great initiative”. “We are fortunate that the wha¯nau at Poutiri Trust were able to mobilise a drive-through clinic so efficiently to support our communities.” There was also one vaccination clinic on the reserve next to its premises, but “due to the overwhelming response”, a second site was set up at Whakaue Marae. All other clinics were on site where wha¯nau received a time, came in for their vaccination and were provided with a hot drink and morning tea, she said. Peawini said the vaccination was important “simply to protect ourselves, our wha¯nau, our community and our whakapapa”. Vaccinations at the clinic are by appointment only — bookings can be made online with the Poutiri Trust or by calling 0800 573 0091. The next clinic is on October 15.

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