Aotearoa is scheduled to host its first ‘Vaxathon’, a nationwide event aimed at increasing the number of vaccinations by around 100,000.
The event will take place from 12:00 to 20:00 this Saturday and will be broadcast on multiple platforms, including TV3, Māori Television, and on Hahana’s Facebook page.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made clear in today’s Covid-19 update that she supported ‘Super Saturday,’ saying vaccination helped protect vulnerable people and children and “get back to a life that feels a little more normal”.
See Jacinda Ardern’s endorsement of the Vaxathon.
Tamati Sheppard-Wipiiti, manager of the equity group for the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 vaccination and immunization program, said everyone has a role to play when getting vaccinated.
“We are calling for a massive collective effort to make this happen,” he said.
“By far the biggest and most powerful weapon we have in our fight against Covid-19 is vaccination, so we really need all members of our whānau, families and communities to step up and do their part, and help us reach out to those who haven’t, but come forward. “
Bailey Mackey of Pango Productions said the Vaxathon encouraged New Zealanders, particularly peaceful young Maori and tāngata whaikaha (those living with a disability), to get vaccinated.
“Well-known celebrities, influencers, and healthcare professionals will headline the live broadcast, crossing over to Covid-19 vaccination sites to capture the atmosphere and experiences of those who receive their first or second vaccine.
“A live dashboard, updated in real time, will provide progress measures of how each region is tracking.”
As part of the effort to get everyone in Aotearoa vaccinated against COVID-19, a dedicated team has been established to help people with disabilities access the vaccine. Read more about these important services here: https://t.co/qMzckiq0We pic.twitter.com/Kp68QQojYQ
– Ministry of the Pacific Peoples (@Pacific_Peoples) October 12, 2021
Mackey said he knew from first-hand experience that many Maori distrusted the ‘system’ and that Saturday’s event would help interact with them “in a meaningful way.”
Tāhuhu rangapū (executive director) of Māori Television, Shane Taurima, said that a new record for Maori vaccines was set earlier this week with more than 10,000 doses administered to whānau Māori and the Vaxathon will help drive these numbers even further.
In addition to various government agencies, some New Zealand companies are supporting the initiative to help with the adoption of the vaccine in the communities around Aotearoa.
Currently, 82 percent of eligible New Zealanders age 12 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 58 percent have received their second dose and are now fully vaccinated.