Friday 3 April 2020Media release3 minutes to read
Patients received medical care in their cars at a Poutini Waiora and Grey Medical Centre flu vaccination drive-through clinic yesterday in Greymouth.
At-risk Māori were contacted and scheduled for flu vaccinations by Poutini Waiora Nurse Prescriber Angela Orr. As each person turned up in their cars, they were directed to Poutini Waiora Whanau Ora nurse Dianna McLean in full personal protective equipment who took details and delivered the flu vaccination. Poutini Waiora Whanau Ora Navigator Karyn Andersen followed up with information about other things available to Māori in need.
This wasn’t the first flu clinic targeting Māori patients, Ms Orr said. “But we are noticing more people are keen to get their vaccinations. Many of these patients are immune-compromised. Māori have more respiratory conditions, diabetes, cancer than non- Māori, and that puts them at more of a risk in terms of getting flu. It also means they are more vulnerable if they get COVID-19.
“If we can delay and minimise the number of people with flu on the Coast, then it’s not a double whammy for our patients.”
Clinical Nurse Manager Chris Beadle said non-Māori vulnerable patients are also being contacted to receive their flu vaccinations.
West Coast DHB Māori Health Portfolio Manager Kylie Parkin says the clinic had been initiated by Grey Medical Centre when they managed to secure flu vaccines.
““Māori uptake of flu vaccinations sits at 59% of those aged 65 and over currently vaccinated. That’s slightly above the national picture, but still low given the disproportionate number of Māori with pre-existing health conditions, in particular respiratory illness which could mean that their outcomes from influenza would be worse than most.
“Locally it has always been a challenge to convince them of the benefits of getting their flu jab, but with the current situation it presents an opportunity for us to better protect Māori who may be more at risk from poorer health outcomes as a result of flu.”
Patient Iwi Neate of Hokitika had never received a flu shot in the past.
“With the pandemic, plus I’m in the statistics for ethnicity, age and health, I decided it was a good idea. I didn’t really know the process, but the nurse rang round to set up appointments,” Iwi says.
As for the vaccination: “I didn’t even know she’d done it!”
There have been supply issues with flu vaccines, but West Coast general practices and pharmacies are expecting further deliveries for vulnerable patients within the next week. The vaccines should be available for the general public later in April.
Page last updated: 3 April 2020
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