Solutions to poor vaccination rates are set to be implemented with a Winter Wellness/Vaccination Programme by the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency network.

Agency chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said the wellbeing of whānau across Te Ika-A-Maui was always its priority.

She said Whānau Ora had already demonstrated how efficient it was during the Covid pandemic, where the collective administered 929, 319 Covid-19 vaccinations .

“Once again we will be just as effective with our vaccination programme to protect our whakapapa against deadly outbreaks like measles, mumps and meningitis until the end of June, 2024.”

Health Minister Shane Reti announced the funding for a winter vaccination drive in December.

Papakura Marae CEO Tony Kake said he is honoured to be hosting the launch at Hoani Waititi Marae in west Auckland.

“I’m delighted to be a part of the Winter Wellness/Vaccination Launch. Tamariki, mokopuna vaccinations must be a priority for us all. Immunisations are low in South Auckland, It’s like our vaccination rates have gone backwards 20 years. We in South Auckland know how to engage, we know how to build trust with whānau quickly, we know how important this work is and we look forward to getting the job done!”

Ngāti Hine Health CEO Geoff Milner will be speaking at the launch tomorrow about the urgency of this kaupapa and the impact it will have across Te Tai Tokerau.

“We are thrilled with this investment by the Minister of Health into Whānau Ora to lift the immunisation rates in hard to reach communities such as Tai Tokerau.

“We are in a real fight for the hearts and minds of our whānau to bring their tamariki forward to be immunised but our Tokerau Whānau Ora Collective are up for the challenge.

“We look forward to engaging all whānau, Māori and non-Māori, who are ready to be vaccinated at a clinic, both fixed or mobile, on a marae or at their sports clubs as we take our services to them.”

Before tomorrow’s launch a group of international nurses will be officially welcomed with a pōwhiri at Hoani Waititi Marae at 10am. They will then be deployed to assist with the vaccination rollout throughout the Whānau Ora network.