Hundreds receive Covid-19 jabs at Eketāhuna pop-up clinic

New Zealand’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout is starting to target more remote parts of the country thanks to rural outreach clinics.

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Eketāhuna in Manawatu is the latest small town to welcome a rural outreach Covid-19 vaccination clinic. Source: 1 NEWS

1 NEWS visited one of those facilities in Eketāhuna today, which is aiming to put jabs in the arms of about 400 locals, or a quarter of the town’s population.

One person said she wanted to get vaccinated to keep people around her safe.

The effort was a success, and local leaders say it’s because it’s been community driven.

Kuia Everlyn Chase said manaakitanga was important to encourage people to come along and get their jabs.

“So, if I can just be here, making a cup of tea, going and talking to people, the odd cuddle works really well too!”

Adele Small, MidCentral DHB iwi and Māori lead, said the health centre, iwi and kaumatua were vital in the vaccine’s rollout.

“They've really been pivotal in rallying the community here,” she said.

“We recognise that for our rural populations, it's not always accessible for them to come into our big centres to receive the vaccine.

“So, we've taken the approach where we engage with communities and reach right in and be able to provide opportunities for the population to receive vaccines as close as possible to their homes.”

DHBs around the country are using temporary clinics like the one in Eketāhuna for hard-to-reach communities. They’re open for anyone over the age of 16, no matter which vaccination group they are a part of.

Earlier this week, residents of the small East Cape town of Te Araroa got their second dose of the vaccine after a similar pop-up clinic in their community.