31 August 2021

Over 600 vaccinated at Ashburton pop-up clinic

Ashburton has a large migrant population that needs a culturally responsive approach to support them to get vaccinated.

According to the 2018 census, the Ashburton District has about 18.6 percent of people born outside of New Zealand.

To support these people, Ashburton Life Pharmacy worked together with the Ashburton District Council, Hakatere Marae, local migrant community leaders, the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Health Advisory Group and Canterbury DHB to run a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Hampstead Rugby Club yesterday.

The pop-up clinic vaccinated over 600 people under alert level 4 restrictions.

Vaccination event lead, Satish Mistry says it was pleasing to be able to offer COVID-19 vaccination to the community who may find navigating through the healthcare system confusing which then can act as a barrier.

“Having the support of local community leaders helped us gain the trust of the community.”

Migrant community leaders took the lead in reaching out to the community and supporting them to book their vaccinations. Most of are from the Philippines, Thailand, and Latin America.

The clinic was also made accessible to the Pasifika and Maori community.

An Ashburton community leader, Thelma Bell, led the charge in getting the Filipino community booked for their vaccinations. She says the community was grateful to have this opportunity.

“When I told the various Filipino community groups that I’m connected with that we have this opportunity, I encouraged them to contact me straight away. The response was very positive.”

Thelma helped over 300 Filipinos book their vaccination appointments.

Community leaders were present to assist last Sunday, and interpreters had been organised to ensure that those who needed translation support had it available to them.

“The Filipino community felt so thankful and privileged to get vaccinated. Back home in the Philippines, they see that they are still battling widespread community transmission. This motivated them to get vaccinated,” Thelma says.

The pop-up clinic will return on 31 October for their second dose vaccinations.

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