A new Vaccine Uptake Fund to support COVID-19 vaccination among ethnic communities will help further increase vaccinations across Aotearoa, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.
“I am delighted to see our ethnic communities continuing to play their part in getting New Zealand vaccinated against COVID-19. We can further support them to connect with those harder to reach people, while removing barriers to vaccination that exist,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.
“Communities have told us that being able to provide things like transport, interpreters, collateral and venue hire would make a real difference. This new Vaccine Uptake Fund will pay for this sort of activity and make it easier for people to get vaccinated.”
The new $1 million Vaccine Uptake Fund is in addition to the $2 million for the Ethnic Communities Communications Fund which supported 71 initiatives across a broad range of communities throughout the country.
“The Ethnic Communities Communications Fund had a huge response, and as a result the funding was doubled from $1 million to $2 million to help boost vaccination rates among our ethnic communities,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.
Successful initiatives focused on translation services, educational and community wellbeing. The initiatives will support doctors, medical professionals, respected community, youth, and faith-based leaders from a range of ethnic communities to engage through online community health forums, educational workshops, videos, and social media platforms focused on the vaccination journey.
Misinformation about vaccines from other countries is an issue for some ethnic communities and will be addressed through initiatives using community forums, videos, social media platforms and radio broadcasts.
“New Zealand is a diverse country with over 213 ethnic communities represented who collectively speak over 160 languages, have varied needs, and may access information differently,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.
“Ethnic community organisations understand these diverse needs and are best placed to reach those who need a little additional support to get vaccinated. These two funds are and will continue to support them to be able to do this effectively.
“I encourage all community organisations who require further support to get vaccination rates as high as possible within our ethnic communities to make an application to the Vaccine Uptake Fund.”
Funding for both funds has been provided by the Ministry of Health and was set up in partnership with the Ministry for Ethnic Communities. Community organisations and individuals can apply for funding now at the Ministry for Ethnic Communities website.