More than 300 people from Eketāhuna and the surrounding area received their first COVID-19 vaccination at a rural
outreach clinic at the Eketāhuna Community Centre on Saturday. PHOTO: MIDCENTRAL DHB/SUPPLIED
MidCentral DHB (MDHB) would like to thank people and whānau from Eketāhuna and the surrounding area for their support of
the region’s first rural outreach COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
More than 300 people received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Eketāhuna Community Centre on Saturday, 24
MDHB COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Iwi and Māori Lead, Adele Small, said the clinic was successful because it was
driven by the community, through the Eketāhuna Health Centre and local kaumātua and kuia, with support from Rangitāne
and Ngāti Kahungunu iwi, and MDHB staff.
“We heard from those who attended how important it was to protect themselves and their whānau from COVID-19,” Small
“We know it can be hard for those in rural communities to get to central vaccination sites, so this event was about
ensuring they had easy access to opportunities to be vaccinated.”
The MDHB team will return to the Eketāhuna Community Centre on August 21 to administer second doses, and first doses for
anyone who missed the clinic on Saturday.
Local kaumātua and kuia Warren and Everlyn Chase, who held key roles connecting the MDHB team with the Eketāhuna
community, encouraged everyone to get onboard with the upcoming vaccination effort.
“It is important for us to be involved in getting our community vaccinated so that we can be safe and continue to be
around for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Warren said.
“We are really proud that our people took up this opportunity to protect themselves and their whānau from COVID-19, and
we look forward to an even bigger turnout on August 21.”
MDHB COVID-19 Vaccination Programme Senior Responsible Officer Debbie Davies said plans were under way to arrange more
remote rural vaccination clinics throughout the MDHB rohe.
“We are committed to working with our communities and iwi to provide people and whānau in our remote areas with easy and
equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine.”