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Ed Sheeran

Maori risk highlighted as COVID vaccinations near
Photo: Ministry of Health.

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The South Island Whānau Ora commissioning agency is gearing up to get the message out about the need for people to get the COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available.

The Government has announced it has secured supplies of enough of the Pfizer vaccine to immunise every New Zealander.

Helen Leahy from Te Pūtahitanga says whānau ora providers will be a bridge between the government and district health boards and whānau when it comes to being a trusted source of information on the safety of the vaccine.

She says with 2.5 million people around the world having died from the virus in the past year, COVID-19 is a continuing threat.

"For those who are most vulnerable, who have respiratory conditions already or a compromised immune system, we need to be able to say all of us care abut keeping all of our whānau safe and if you have an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, you also have an increased risk of harm if you do contract it," she says.

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